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Java instanceof

In this tutorial, you will learn about Java instanceof operator in detail with the help of examples.

The instanceof operator in Java is used to check whether an object is an instance of a particular class or not.

Its syntax is

objectName instanceOf className;

Here, if objectName is an instance of className, the operator returns true. Otherwise, it returns false.


Example: Java instanceof

class Main {

  public static void main(String[] args) {

    // create a variable of string type
    String name = "Programiz";
    
    // checks if name is instance of String
    boolean result1 = name instanceof String;
    System.out.println("name is an instance of String: " + result1);

    // create an object of Main
    Main obj = new Main();

    // checks if obj is an instance of Main
    boolean result2 = obj instanceof Main;
    System.out.println("obj is an instance of Main: " + result2);
  }
}

Output

name is an instance of String: true
obj is an instance of Main: true

In the above example, we have created a variable name of the String type and an object obj of the Main class.

Here, we have used the instanceof operator to check whether name and obj are instances of the String and Main class respectively. And, the operator returns true in both cases.


Java instanceof during Inheritance

We can use the instanceof operator to check if objects of the subclass is also an instance of the superclass. For example,

// Java Program to check if an object of the subclass
// is also an instance of the superclass

// superclass
class Animal {
}

// subclass
class Dog extends Animal {
}

class Main {
  public static void main(String[] args) {

    // create an object of the subclass
    Dog d1 = new Dog();

    // checks if d1 is an instance of the subclass
    System.out.println(d1 instanceof Dog);        // prints true

    // checks if d1 is an instance of the superclass
    System.out.println(d1 instanceof Animal);     // prints true
  }
}

In the above example, we have created a subclass Dog that inherits from the superclass Animal. Inside the print statement, notice the expression,

d1 instanceof Animal

Here, d1 is an instance of Dog. The instanceof operator checks whether d1 is also an instance of the superclass Animal.


Java instanceof in Interface

The instanceof operator is also used to check whether an object of a class is also an instance of the interface implemented by the class. For example,

// Java program to check if an object of a class is also
//  an instance of the interface implemented by the class

interface Animal {
}

class Dog implements Animal {
}

class Main {
  public static void main(String[] args) {

    // create an object of the Dog class
    Dog d1 = new Dog();

    // checks if the object of Dog
    // is also an instance of Animal
    System.out.println(d1 instanceof Animal);  // returns true
  }
}

In the above example, the Dog class implements the Animal interface. Inside the print statement, notice the expression,

d1 instanceof Animal

Here, d1 is an instance of Dog class. The instanceof operator checks if d1 is also an instance of the interface Animal.

Note: In Java, all the classes are inherited from the Object class. So, instances of all the classes are also an instance of the Object class.

In the previous example, if we check,

d1 instanceof Object

The result will be true.