What is a switch case statement in Java and how to use it?

A switch statement allows a variable to be tested for equality against a list of values. Each value is called a case, and the variable being switched on is checked for each case.


switch(expression) {
   case value :
      // Statements
   case value :
      // Statements
   // You can have any number of case statements.
   default :
      // Statements

The following rules apply to a switch statement −

  • The variable used in a switch statement can only be integers, convertible integers (byte, short, char), strings and enum.
  • You can have any number of case statements within a switch. Each case is followed by the value to be compared to and a colon.
  • The value for a case must be the same data type as the variable in the switch and it must be a constant or a literal.
  • When the variable being switched on is equal to a case, the statements following that case will execute until a break statement is reached.
  • When a break statement is reached, the switch terminates, and the flow of control jumps to the next line following the switch statement.
  • Not every case needs to contain a break. If no break appears, the flow of control will fall through to subsequent cases until a break is reached.
  • A switch statement can have an optional default case, which must appear at the end of the switch. The default case can be used for performing a task when none of the cases is true. No break is needed in the default case.


public class Test {
   public static void main(String args[]) {
      // char grade = args[0].charAt(0);
      char grade = 'C';
      switch(grade) {
        case 'A' :
        case 'B' :
        case 'C' :
           System.out.println("Well done");
        case 'D' :
           System.out.println("You passed");
        case 'F' :
           System.out.println("Better try again");
        default :
           System.out.println("Invalid grade");
        System.out.println("Your grade is " + grade);

Compile and run the above program using various command line arguments. This will produce the following result −


Well done
Your grade is C

Updated on: 25-Feb-2020


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