For most programming languages, a function is a handy piece of code that allows practitioners to utilise in a same functionality multiple times. Hence the name, “function”.

In the world of javascript, we use the keyword, function when defining a function.

ECMAScript 2015 or ES6 was the second major revision to Javascript. Included in this revision saw the introduction of arrow functions, a more consise way to write functions.

Here is an example:

// a regular function
function func(x,y) {
  return x + y
// an arrow function
const func = (x,y) => x + y;

We can see the evolution of it more closely:

// starting with our regular function
function func(x,y) {
  return x + y

// instead of defining, we express the function
// more about this below
// expressing an anonymous function
const func1 = function(x, y) {
  return x + y

// we can remove the keyword `function`
const func2 = (x,y) => {
  return x + y

// taking away the braces, the return is implicit
const func3 = (x,y) => x + y;

// when a single line needs to be broken up
const func3 = (x, y) =>
  x +
  x * 2 +
  x * 3 +
  x * 4 +
  x * 5 +
  x * 6 +
  x * 7 +
  x * 8 +
  x * 9 +
  y +
  y * 2 +
  y * 3 +
  y * 4 +
  y * 5 +
  y * 6 +
  y * 7 +
  y * 8 +
  y * 9;

NB: Since the return is implicit an annoying mistake that I sometimes make is forgetting to include the return if I have used braces.

// the function will run but nothing is returned
const func = (x,y) => {
  x + y

Something typescript can help with:

// typescript will provide a warning since there is a return type expected
const func = (x: number, y: number): number => {
  x + y

Where do arrow functions becomes useful? There are probably many, but one I can think about is applying arrow functions for properties that require a callback function. An example is handling on:click functionality for a svelte components.

<button on:click={() => console.log("Clicked!")}>Click me</button>


I am working with a Svelte code base where we want to maintain the original functional definitions. This begs to question, are there any differenences between arrow functions and the original function definitions because aren’t they the same?

To my shock and horror, they’re similar but there are some differences to note.

Declaration vs Expression

Arrow functions are anonymous functions that assigned to a variable by expression.

The traditional function is declared.

Here is example of a defined function compared to a function by expression.

// function definition
function defFunc() {

// function expression
const someFunc = function() {

// turning someFunc into an arrow function
const someFunc = () => {

Arrow functions are anonymous functions. They are expressed and assigned to a variable.

This is important for the next portion about hosting.


Defined functions can be declared and referenced anywhere, when arrow function due to being expressed cannot.

defFunc(); // able to call function before it's definitions

// Function is defined.
function defFunc() {

arrowFunc(); // this will not work as it is referenced before it is expressed

// Function is not declared but is expressed and assigned to the variable
const arrowFunc = (param1, param2) => {

arrowFunc(); // this will work

Other points

  1. Arrow functions don’t have arguments object
  2. Arrow functions don’t create a this binding when in an object
  3. Arrow functions cannot be used in constructors


  1. W3Schools - JavascriptES6
  2. Freecodecamp - Arrow Functions vs Regular Functions in JavaScript – What’s the Difference?