What if

An if statement allows you to take different actions depending on which conditions are met. For example:

if city == "Toronto"
   drinking_age = 19
   drinking_age = 21

This says:

  1. if the city is equal to (==) “Toronto”, then set drinking_age to 19.
  2. Otherwise (else) set drinking_age to 21.

true and false

Ruby has a notion of true and false. This is best illustrated through some example. Start irb and type the following (taking special note of the difference between = and ==):

shell> irb --simple-prompt
>> 3 > 2
=> true
>> 3 < 2
=> false
>> num = 4
=> 4
>> num == 4
=> true
>> city = "Toronto"
=> "Toronto"
>> city == "Toronto"
=> true

The if statements evaluates whether the expression (e.g. ’city == “Toronto”) is true or false and acts accordingly.

Notice the difference between = and ==:

Most common conditionals

Here is a list of some of the most common conditionals:

== equal
!= not equal to
> greater than
< less than
>= greater than or equal to
<= less than or equal to

String comparisons

How do these operators behave with strings? Well, == is string equality and > and friends are determined by ASCIIbetical order.

What is ASCIIbetical order? The ASCII character table contains all the characters in the keyboard. It lists them in this order:


Start irb and type these in:

shell> irb --simple-prompt
>> "9" < "D"
=> true
>> "a" < "b"
=> true
>> "h" == "h"
=> true
>> "H" == "h"
=> false
>> "Z" <= "b"
=> true
>> "j" != "r"
=> true


elsif allows you to add more than one condition. Take this for example:

if age >= 60
    puts "Senior fare"  
elsif age >= 14
    puts "Adult fare"
elsif age > 2
    puts "Child fare"
    puts "Free"

Let’s go through this:

  1. If age is 60 or more, we give a senior fare.
  2. If that’s not true, but age is 14 or more, we give the adult fare.
  3. If that’s not true, but age is more than 2 we give the child fare.
  4. Otherwise we ride free.

Ruby goes through this sequence of conditions one by one. The first condition to hold gets executed. You can put as many elsif’s as you like.


A Condition Between Cities

Condition Gradebook

Choosing the right nominee