CSS combinators explain the connection between two selectors. CSS selectors are patterns that are used to select elements for styling purposes. A CSS selector can be simple or complex, consisting of multiple selectors linked together with combinators.
CSS provides four types of combinators, which are discussed below:
- General sibling selector (~)
- Adjacent sibling selector (+)
- Child selector (>)
- Descendant selector (space)
1. General sibling selector (~) :
The general sibling selector is used to select the element that comes after the first selector and has the same parent as the first selector. This can be used to select a group of elements that are all children of the same parent element.
2. Adjacent sibling selector:
The Adjacent sibling selector is used to find the element that is adjacent or next to the specified selector tag. This combinator selects only the tag that is immediately adjacent to the specified tag.
3. Child selector:
This selector is used to find the element that is the direct descendant of the specified tag. This combinator is stricter than the descendant selector because it only selects the second selector if it is the parent of the first selector element.
4. Descendant selector:
This selector is used to select all of the tag's child elements. The tags can be either the direct child of the specified tag or very deep within it. This combinator combines the two selectors so that the selected elements have the same ancestor as the first selector.
One common use case for combinators is when you want to target a specific element within a specific context. For example, you might use a child selector to target a specific list item within a nested list, or you might use a general sibling selector to target all paragraphs that come after a specific heading. By using combinators, you can write more specific selectors that target only the elements you want to style, while avoiding unintended side effects that can occur with more general selectors.
The descendant selector matches all elements that are descendants of a specified parent element. It works by selecting the parent element followed by a space and then the child element. For example, the selector "nav ul li" matches all li elements that are descendants of a ul element that is a descendant of a nav element.
The child selector selects only the immediate children of a specified parent element. It works by selecting the parent element followed by a greater-than sign and then the child element. For example, the selector "nav > ul > li" matches only the li elements that are immediate children of a ul element that is an immediate child of a nav element.
The adjacent sibling selector selects an element that is directly adjacent to another element. It works by selecting the first element followed by a plus sign and then the second element. For example, the selector "h2 + p" matches only the p element that comes immediately after an h2 element.
The general sibling selector selects all siblings that come after the first element, as long as they share the same parent. It works by selecting the first element followed by a tilde and then the second element. For example, the selector "h2 ~ p" matches all p elements that come after an h2 element that share the same parent.