How to Call Methods in Java

Have you ever been frustrated trying to navigate through a Java program only to realize that you don’t know how to call methods? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In this article, we’ll discuss how to call methods in Java, step-by-step, and provide you with some useful tips and tricks along the way.

First, let’s take a look at what a method is in Java. A method is a block of code that performs a specific task, and it can be called from other parts of your program. Methods are used to break down complex programs into smaller, more manageable parts, making your code more organized and easier to read.

So, how do you call a method in Java? The process is actually quite simple.

Table of Contents

Creating a Method

Before we can call a method, we first need to create one. To create a method in Java, we use the following syntax:

accessModifier returnType methodName(parameterList) {
   // method body
}

Let’s break down this syntax:

  • The accessModifier specifies the level of access to the method. There are four access modifiers in Java: public, private, protected, and default (no modifier).
  • The returnType specifies the type of value that the method will return, if any. If the method doesn’t return anything, we use the void keyword.
  • The methodName is the name of the method, and it should be descriptive of the task that the method performs.
  • The parameterList is a list of variables that the method will accept as input, and it is enclosed in parentheses.

Let’s see an example:

public int sum(int a, int b) {
   int result = a + b;
   return result;
}

In this example, we’ve created a method called sum that accepts two integer parameters, a and b. The method calculates the sum of these two parameters and returns the result as an integer.

Calling a Method

Now that we’ve created a method, let’s learn how to call it. To call a method in Java, we use the following syntax:

returnType variableName = methodName(argumentList);

Let’s break down this syntax:

  • The returnType specifies the type of value that the method will return. If the method doesn’t return anything, we use the void keyword.
  • The variableName is the name that we give to the variable that will store the result of the method call.
  • The methodName is the name of the method that we want to call.
  • The argumentList is a list of values that we want to pass to the method as input, and it is enclosed in parentheses.

Let’s see an example:

int x = 5;
int y = 10;

int result = sum(x, y);

In this example, we’ve called the sum method that we created earlier, passing in the values of x and y as input. The result of the method call is stored in the variable result.

Passing Arguments to a Method

In the previous example, we passed in the values of x and y as input to the sum method. But what if we want to pass in variables that are not defined in the same method? We can do this by passing in the variables as arguments to the method.

Let’s see an example:

public int multiply(int a, int b) {
   int result = a * b;
   return result;
}

int x = 5;
int y = 10;

int result = multiply(x, y);

In this example, we’ve created a new method called multiply that accepts two integer parameters, a and b. We’ve also defined two variables, x and y, and passed them as arguments to the multiply method.

Method Overloading

Sometimes we might want to create a method with the same name as an existing method, but with different parameters. This is called method overloading, and it allows us to create multiple methods with the same name but with different functionality.

Let’s see an example:

public int sum(int a, int b) {
   int result = a + b;
   return result;
}

public int sum(int a, int b, int c) {
   int result = a + b + c;
   return result;
}

In this example, we’ve created two methods called sum. The first method accepts two integer parameters, a and b, and calculates their sum. The second method accepts three integer parameters, a, b, and c, and calculates their sum.

When we call the sum method, Java will automatically choose the appropriate version of the method based on the number and types of the arguments that we pass in.

Returning Values from a Method

So far, we’ve seen methods that return values and methods that don’t. When a method returns a value, we need to make sure that we capture that value and do something with it.

Let’s see an example:

public String greet(String name) {
   String greeting = "Hello, " + name + "!";
   return greeting;
}

String myName = "John";
String greeting = greet(myName);
System.out.println(greeting);

In this example, we’ve created a method called greet that accepts a string parameter called name, and returns a string greeting. We’ve also defined a variable called myName and passed it as an argument to the greet method. The result of the method call is stored in the variable greeting, which we then print to the console.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve learned how to call methods in Java, step-by-step. We’ve covered the basics of creating a method, calling a method, passing arguments to a method, method overloading, and returning values from a method.

By mastering the art of calling methods, you’ll be able to write more efficient, organized, and functional Java programs. Happy coding!

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