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Cover image for Differences between Let Var Const that you didn't know - ES6 [Video + Article]

Differences between Let Var Const that you didn't know - ES6 [Video + Article]

developertharun profile image Tharun Shiv ・3 min read

In this post we will discuss the differences between the let, var and const along with code examples and their outputs

Video:

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What are Let Var and Const

In order to use a variable in JavaScript, you will have to declare that variable. Before ES6, we had only var using which we used to declare variables. From ES6 onwards let and const were introduced and there are some significant differences that you need to know among these.

The differences

We will look at the differences in three aspects:

  1. Function or block scoped
  2. Redeclaring
  3. Redefining

1. Function or block scoped

Var: Function scoped: This means that once a variable is declared using var, it is accessible anywhere within that function. This sounds nice, but we will face problem when we use var in a for-loop, and the variable leaks out.

for (var i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
  console.log(i);
}

console.log(i); // i is still accessible here

Output

0
1
2
3
4
5

Let: Block Scoped: A block is nothing but a piece of code that is enclosed by the curly braces { }. So when a variable is declared using the let, it will stay within that block and doesn't leak out.

for (let i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
  console.log(i);
}

console.log(i); // the variable i is not accessible here

Output

0
1
2
3
4
console.log(i);
            ^
ReferenceError: i is not defined

Const: Block Scoped: The variable declared with const has a block scope just like let, and isn't accessible outside the scope.

{
  const i = 10;
  console.log(i);
}

console.log(i);

Output

10
console.log(i);
            ^
ReferenceError: i is not defined

Redeclaring

Var: Can be Redeclared: The variables declared using var can be declared again using var anywhere in the program.

var cat = "meow";
var cat = "psssss"; // no error

Let: Cannot be Redeclared: The variables declared using let cannot be redeclared within the same scope of it.

let dog;

let dog; // causes error

Output

let dog;
    ^
SyntaxError: Identifier 'dog' has already been declared

Const: Cannot be Redeclared: The variables declared using const cannot be redeclared within the same scope of it.

const lion;

const lion; // causes error

Output

const lion;
      ^
SyntaxError: Identifier 'lion' has already been declared

3. Redefining

Var: can be redefined: Defining is different from declaring in the sense that, defining assigns a value to the variable.

var dog = "boww";
dog = "voww"; // no error

Let: can be redefined: Defining is different from declaring in the sense that, defining assigns a value to the variable.

let cat = "meow";
cat = "prrr"; // no error

Const: cannot be redefined: This results in an error. This applied to the scope only.

const lion = "roar";
lion = "rooor"; // cannot redefine

Output

const lion = "roooor";
      ^
SyntaxError: Identifier 'lion' has already been declared

Summary

Summary

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Discussion

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elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks

Unlike other languages const in JavaScript does not make the reference immutable. So, it's not really constant, merely final in its assignment.

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venkat121998 profile image
venkat anirudh

Ah I see, didn't know that. Thanks 👍

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Tharun Shiv Author

Thank you for contributing 🙂

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riotfallen profile image
Dimas Maulana Dwi Saputra

Thanks for explaining!

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Tharun Shiv Author

Yes.. 🙂

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pdesjardins90 profile image
Philippe Desjardins

Good explainer, but for the newbies out there here's the rule of thumb:

Never use var
Always use const, unless you need to reassign it, in which case use let

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Tharun Shiv Author

Yeah, true that. Thanks for contributing 🙂

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venkat121998 profile image
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Harsh Pyati

The examples helped a lot in grasping the differences. Thanks for the article.

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Tharun Shiv Author

Thanks! 🙂

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Tharun Shiv Author

Let me know if you liked the article and how I can improve in writing blogs. 😊 Thank you for reading. 🦄

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chandrika56 profile image
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Tharun Shiv Author

Definitely! Thank you😊

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praveenreddy1798

Good article.. 👍

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venkat anirudh

The summary helps... good one.. keep it up!

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umamaheswari.v

Good one 🙌 the examples made things easier

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Tharun Shiv Author

Glad it helped 🙂