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Ruby on Rails to_sentence

by Michael Blum on 08.03.2023

Ruby on Rails provides developers with a wide range of powerful methods and tools to build dynamic and interactive web applications. One of these methods is the to_sentence method, which is used to convert an array of items into a grammatically correct sentence.

Let’s say you have an array of fruits. If you want to display these fruits as a sentence, you can use the to_sentence method like this:

vegetables = ["tomatoes", "cucumbers", "carrots"]
puts vegetables.to_sentence
# Output: "tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots"

The to_sentence method automatically adds commas and the word “and” to create a grammatically correct sentence.

Here’s another example:

cars = ["Toyota", "Honda", "Tesla", "Ford"]
puts = cars.to_sentence
# Output: "Toyota, Honda, Tesla, and Ford"

german_cars = ["Mercedes", "Audi", "VW", "BMW", "Porsche"]
puts = german_cars.to_sentence(locale: :de)
# Output: "Mercedes, Audi, VW, BMW und Porsche"

As you can see, the to_sentence method is a handy way to format arrays into sentences.

Localizing to_sentence is also possible, allowing you to display sentences in different languages. To localize it, you need to create a locale file in your Rails applications config/locales directory.

Here’s an example for the English and German locales:

# config/locales/en.yml
      sentence_connector: "and"
      skip_last_comma: false

# config/locales/de.yml
      sentence_connector: "und"
      skip_last_comma: true

The sentence_connector option is the word that connects the last two elements of the sentence. The skip_last_comma option is a Boolean value that indicates whether to include a comma before the final element of the sentence.

In conclusion, to_sentence is a useful method that helps format arrays into grammatically correct sentences. With localization, you can use it to display sentences in different languages.

Happy coding!


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