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    An empty statement is used to provide no statement, although the JavaScript syntax would expect one.




    The empty statement is a semicolon (;) indicating that no statement will be executed, even if JavaScript syntax requires one. The opposite behavior, where you want multiple statements, but JavaScript only allows a single one, is possible using a block statement; it combines several statements into a single one.


    The empty statement is sometimes used with loop statements. See the following example with an empty loop body:

    var arr = [1, 2, 3];
    // Assign all array values to 0
    for (i = 0; i < arr.length; arr[i++] = 0) /* empty statement */ ;
    // [0, 0, 0]

    Note: It is a good idea to comment the intentional use of the empty statement, as it is not really obvious to distinguish between a normal semicolon. In the following example the usage is probably not intentional:

    if (condition);       // Caution, this "if" does nothing!
       killTheUniverse()  // So this gets always executed!!!

    Another Example: An if...else statement without curly braces ({}). If three is true, nothing will happen, four does not matter, and also the launchRocket() function in the else case will not be executed.

    if (one)
    else if (two)
    else if (three)
      ; // nothing here
    else if (four)


    Specification Status Comment
    ECMAScript 1st Edition. Standard Initial definition.
    ECMAScript 5.1 (ECMA-262)
    The definition of 'Empty statement' in that specification.
    ECMAScript 6 (ECMA-262)
    The definition of 'Empty statement' in that specification.
    Release Candidate  

    Browser compatibility

    Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
    Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
    Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
    Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

    See also

    Document Tags and Contributors

    Contributors to this page: rogp, fscholz, teoli
    Last updated by: fscholz,
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