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When we work with classes in JavaScript, it’s common to use the super keyword.

In this post I want to clarify what’s it useful for.

Suppose you have a class Car:

class Car {

}

and in this class we have a constructor() method:

class Car {
  constructor() {
    console.log('This is a car')
  }
}

The constructor method is special because it is executed when the class is instantiated:

const myCar = new Car() //'This is a car'

You can have a Tesla class that extends the Car class:

class Tesla extends Car {

}

The Tesla class inherited all the methods and properties of Car, including the constructor method.

We can create an instance of the Tesla class, creating a new myCar object:

const myCar = new Tesla()

And the original constructor in Car is still executed, because Tesla does not have one of its own.

We can override the constructor() method in the Tesla class:

class Tesla extends Car {
  constructor() {
    console.log('This is a Tesla')
  }
}

and

const myCar = new Tesla()

will print This is a Tesla.

In the constructor() method we can also call super() to invoke the same method in the parent class:

class Tesla extends Car {
  constructor() {
    super()
    console.log('This is a Tesla')
  }
}

Calling

const myCar = new Tesla()

will now execute 2 console logs. First the one defined in the Car class constructor, the second the one defined in the Tesla class constructor:

'This is a car'
'This is a Tesla'

Note that super() can only be called in the constructor, not in other methods.

And we can pass in any parameter, if the constructor accepts parameters.



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