Typescript - Tips & Tricks - Union and Intersection

Typescript - Tips & Tricks - Union  and Intersection

Hi and welcome back! Today I talk about Union and Intersection.

In some cases, we have to combine different types to create new types, or sometimes we have parameters that could be of different types. Typescript helps us with two powerful features: Union(|) and Intersection(&).


A union type describes a value that can be one of several types.

type Padding = number | string
let paddingNumber: Padding = 1
let paddingString: Padding = '----';
let paddingError: Padding = true // Type 'boolean' is not assignable to type 'Padding'.

In this case, the padding can be a number or a string, and the compiler detects if you set different types; this feature can be used also with custom types.

type Fish = {
  name(): string;
  swim(): true;
type Cat = {
  name(): string;
  meows(): true;
type Pet = Fish | Cat; // { name(): string; }
declare function createPet(): Pet;
let pet = createPet();
pet.swim() // Property 'swim' does not exist on type 'Pet'
pet.meows(); // Property 'meows' does not exist on type 'Pet'

In this example we can see how the union type creates the Pet type; the Pet type is composed by a single method "name". This method is the only one present in the two initial types: Fish and Cat.


An intersection type combines multiple types into one.

type Point2D = {
  x: number;
  y: number;
type Point3D = Point2D & {
  z: number;
let point2d: Point2D = { x: 0, y: 0 };
let point3d: Point3D = { x: 0, y: 0, z: 0 };

We can see that the Point3D type is the union of the Type Point2D and the type { z: number; }.

That's all for today! See you soon guys!