How to Check if Variable is String or Array in Javascript

In this tutorial, you will learn how to check if variable is string or array in javascript. A variable that holds a plain text as its value is considered to be of string type. An array is a collection of items irrespective of their data types. They are easy to modify because each item in an array has its unique index number. However, the index does change depending upon the kind of modifications you perform on an array.

There are numerous ways to check if a variable is string or array. We are going to use one of the easiest solutions which involve the usage of the typeof and ternary (?) operators.  The typeof operator returns the type of the variable. The ternary operator is also known as the conditional operator which acts similar to the if-else statement.

We are also going to use isArray() method.  This method checks whether a variable holds an array as its value or not and after the check, it returns either true or false.

In the following example, we have one global variable and upon click of a button, we will check if the variable is string or array and display the result on the screen.  Please have a look over the code example and the steps given below.


  • We have 3 elements in the HTML file (div, button, and h1). The div element is just a wrapper for the rest of the elements.
  • The innerText for the button element is “Check” and for the h1 element, it is “Result”.
  • We have done some basic styling using CSS and added the link to our style.css stylesheet inside the head element.
  • We have also included our javascript file script.js with a script tag at the bottom.
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="ie=edge">
    <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css">

    <script src="script.js"></script>
body {
    text-align: center;

div {
    display: inline-block;

button {
    display: inline-block;
    padding: 10px 20px;


  • We have selected the button element and h1 element using the document.querySelector() method and stored them in btnCheck and result variables respectively.
  • We have a global variable myVar which holds a string as its value.
  • We have attached a click event listener to the button element.
  • In the event handler function, we are calling checkVariable() method and passing it myVar as a parameter. This method will verify whether myVar is string or array.
  • In the checkVariable() method, we are using typeof and ternary (?) operators as well as switch statement and isArray() method for verification. Depending upon the result of the check, this method will return “Array”"String" or “Not String or Array”.
  • We are displaying the returned value in the h1 element using the innerText property.
let btnCheck = document.querySelector("button");
let result = document.querySelector("h1");

let myVar = 'Hello World';
btnCheck.addEventListener("click", () => {
  result.innerText = checkVariable(myVar);

function checkVariable(value) {
  let output = typeof value == "string" ? 1 : 0;
  if (output == 0) output = Array.isArray(value) ? 2 : 0;

  switch (output) {
    case 1:
      return "String";
    case 2:
      return "Array";
      return "Not String or Array";