Accessing Elements

Each element in an array has a numbered position known as its index. We can access individual items using their index, which is similar to referencing an item in a list based on the item’s position.

Arrays in JavaScript are zero-indexed, meaning the positions start counting from 0 rather than 1. Therefore, the first item in an array will be at position 0. Let’s see how we could access an element in an array:

Diagram outlining how to access the property of an array using the index of the element

In the code snippet above:

  • cities is an array that has three elements.
  • We’re using bracket notation, [] with the index after the name of the array to access the element.
  • cities[0] will access the element at index 0 in the array cities. You can think of cities[0] as accessing the space in memory that holds the string 'New York'.

You can also access individual characters in a string using bracket notation and the index. For instance, you can write:

const hello = 'Hello World'; console.log(hello[6]); // Output: W

The console will display W since it is the character that is at index 6.



Individual elements in arrays can also be stored to variables.

Create a variable named listItem and set it equal to the first item in the famousSayings array using square bracket notation ([]).

Then use console.log() to print the listItem variable to the console.


Now, console.log() the third element in the famousSayings array using bracket notation to access the element.

Do not save the element to a new variable before you log it.


Awesome, you can access each element in an array using the index. But what happens if you try to access an index that is beyond the last element?

Try to log the item at index [3] of famousSayings to the console. What is logged to the console?

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