I am just wondering if it is possible to check a string for specific characters. For example if my string is String mystr = "test"; and I wanted to check for the letter t at the beginning and if it is NOT there do something how would I go about this?

I have read about string.startsWith(string2); however it returns true or false, I want to be able to do "XYZ" if "ABC" isn't satisfied, and it would seem that string.contains isn't a thing.

To paraphrase, I am trying to create an if statement that will evaluate if a string starts with a certain character(s) and will do something if this condition is NOT met.

  • In C and C++, the ! operator means “not”. E.g. if (!(the condition)) { some_action(); } means “do some action if the condition is not satisfied”. Sep 9, 2016 at 19:47
  • Yes! I thought that I might be able to adapt the string.startsWith, however it flagged saying expected unqualified id before '!' token
    – user26383
    Sep 9, 2016 at 23:04
  • What did you write to get that error? If you don't show us your code, we won't be able to help. Sep 10, 2016 at 7:40
  • I messed up and put the ! in the wrong place, sorry to have not caught that.
    – user26383
    Sep 10, 2016 at 17:01

1 Answer 1


Have you tried the following?

if(!actualString.startsWith(expectedString)) {
  // do whatever you have to

BTW, that is what actually suggested in @EdgarBonet's comment.

  • That did it, I had the ! in the wrong place.
    – user26383
    Sep 10, 2016 at 17:01

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