Jordan Lee Burnes Jordan Lee Burnes - 1 year ago 129
Java Question

How to Test if Input String is Null in Java

So I created some code to check if the first letter of the word that the user enters (stored in the variable word) is a consonant or vowel. If it is neither it outputs saying it is neither. However, I am using nextLine() instead of next() to get input. I understand that next() will not take input until they enter a valid character besides a space, and I know that nextLine() will go to the else statement if they enter just spaces. However, in nextLine when the user just puts enter and does not enter any character, no spaces, the program crashes. I tried checking if the string was equal to null and then making it print out "test" if it was proven true, however for some reason whenever I press enter I still get an error. Below is my code:

import java.util.Scanner;
public class WordStart {
public static void main(String[] args) {
Scanner in = new Scanner(;
System.out.printf("Please enter a word: ");
String word = in.nextLine();
String lowerWord = word.toLowerCase();
String x = lowerWord.substring(0,1);
String test = null;
String empty = new String();

boolean vowel = x.equals("a")||x.equals("e")||x.equals("i")||
boolean conc = x.equals("b")||x.equals("c")||x.equals("d")||x.equals("f")||

System.out.printf("%s starts with a vowel.\n", word);
else if(conc){
System.out.printf("%s starts with a consonant.\n", word);
else if(word.equals("")){
else if(word.isEmpty()){
System.out.printf("%s starts with neither a vowel nor a consonant.\n", word);



Basically, I am trying to check if the user just pressed enter without entering anything and call them out on it. What method, line of code would help me do that. I tried using word.equals(null), but the IDE said that it was never true. Thanks in advance.

The error code I get when I just press enter is as follows

Please enter a word:
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.StringIndexOutOfBoundsException: String index out of range: 1
at java.lang.String.substring(
at WordStart.main(
C:\Users\Jordan\AppData\Local\NetBeans\Cache\8.1\executor-snippets\run.xml:53: Java returned: 1
BUILD FAILED (total time: 3 seconds)

Answer Source

I think the problem lies with this line:

String x = lowerWord.substring(0,1);

If the string is empty (nextLine will never return a null string) it is impossible to take a substring. You should probably check that the string is > 0 characters long.

if(x.length > 0)
  String x = lowerWord.substring(0,1);
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