In programming, what is an expression? [closed]

I've Googled this question, and searched on SO, however I can't seem to get a straight answer.

Is this question so basic no-one has thought to ask it yet?

Can someone please explain what exactly an "expression" is in programming.

Also I program primarily in Javascript, if the definition varies in JS could you please also highlight the difference?


In Javascript:

An expression is any valid unit of code that resolves to a value.

Conceptually, there are two types of expressions: those that assign a value to a variable and those that simply have a value.

The expression x = 7 is an example of the first type.
This expression uses the = operator to assign the value seven to the variable x. The expression itself evaluates to seven.

The code 3 + 4 is an example of the second expression type.
This expression uses the + operator to add three and four together without assigning the result, seven, to a variable.

JavaScript has the following expression categories:

  • Arithmetic: evaluates to a number, for example 3.14159. (Generally uses arithmetic operators.)
  • String: evaluates to a character string, for example, "Fred" or "234". (Generally uses string operators.)
  • Logical: evaluates to true or false. (Often involves logical operators.)
  • Object: evaluates to an object. (See special operators for various ones that evaluate to objects.)"


here is Microsoft's explanation of expressions in .NET