How to Remove the Last Array Element in Ruby and Return It?

Find out how to remove and return the last element in a Ruby array

In Ruby, you can remove the last element of an array and return the removed value in the following ways:

Using the pop Method

The Ruby pop method removes the last element from an array and returns the removed value. It mutates the original array, which means that the contents of the array are modified and its length is changed. For example:

arr = [1, 2, 3, 4]
removed_value = arr.pop

puts removed_value #=> 4
puts arr.length #=> 3

If the pop method is called on an empty array, it would return nil:

puts [].pop #=> nil

Using the delete_at Method

With the delete_at method, you can specify the index at which you want to remove the array element. It mutates the original array, which means that the contents of the array are modified and its length is changed.

To remove the last element and return the removed value using the delete_at method you can either specify array.length - 1 or -1 as the index. For example:

arr = [1, 2, 3, 4]
removed_value = arr.delete_at(-1)

puts removed_value #=> 4
puts arr.length #=> 3

Or, alternatively:

arr = [1, 2, 3, 4]
removed_value = arr.delete_at(arr.length - 1)

puts removed_value #=> 4
puts arr.length #=> 3

If the delete_at method is called on an empty array, it would return nil:

puts [].delete_at(-1) #=> nil

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