Given a variable a (non array) or (any[]) convert to (any[])

function example(s: string | string[]) {
   const e = Array.isArray(s) ? s: [s]
   return e

Is Array.isArray(s) ? s: [s] the shortest way?

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to Code Golf! I've added the tips tag, since this is asking for a way to shorten some code in a specific language. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22, 2022 at 6:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you know a concrete type if the value isn't an array? \$\endgroup\$
    – code
    Jun 25, 2022 at 2:19

2 Answers 2


10 bytes


This works by doing a shallow flat on [s]. So, if s is anything other than an array, nothing can be flattened and it will stay as [s]. But if s is an array, the outer [] will be flattened away, leaving a shallow clone of s.

Note that you can also use this to concat a number of arrays, either with other arrays or non-array elements:


This is actually a trick I wasn't aware of until now. It's still a byte longer than concat though, if the first item's guaranteed to be an array:


When r could be anything, [r,s,t].flat() seems to be the best option.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In older versions you can still write [].concat(r,s,t). \$\endgroup\$
    – Neil
    Jan 22, 2022 at 7:20

aparently this works t.map?t:[t]

  • 10
    \$\begingroup\$ Works, but risky. t might be a different type of object with a map property. If you want to go down this route, t.to?t:[t] would also work in a modern browser \$\endgroup\$
    – jonrandy
    Jan 22, 2022 at 6:22

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