In some other programming languages, enumerations are built using another underlying type. For example, in C++, enumerations are actually a set of integers.

The Swift implementation of enumerations is much more flexible, allowing you to assign a raw value to each case. You can assign Strings, Characters, Ints, Doubles, and Floats as a raw value. However, you can only assign one raw value type per enumeration. This could be useful for situations where each case has a value attached to it that is used by your code logic in some capacity.

enum Emoji: String { case bee = "🐝" case brain = "🧠" case heartEyes = "😍" }

By using the : String syntax and the assignment operator =, we explicitly assign each of the Emoji enumeration cases underlying raw String values.

We access the raw values using the .rawValue property.

print(Emoji.brain.rawValue) // Prints: 🧠

If we use Int or String raw values, we can also implicitly assign values for each case by explicitly assigning the first case like so:

enum Team: Int { case alpha = 1 case bravo case charlie case delta } print(Team.delta.rawValue) // Prints: 4

Because the first case, alpha, is assigned the integer value of 1, the compiler infers that bravo should have a raw value of 2 and so on. If you use Strings as raw values and do not explicitly assign a value, the compiler will use the name of the case as its raw value.

Once we assign raw values for an enumeration, we can then initialize an instance using a raw value like so:

enum Weekday: Int { case monday = 1 case tuesday case wednesday case thursday case friday } let birthday = Weekday(rawValue: 3) // birthday is of type Weekday? and equals Weekday.wednesday

You might be wondering what the question mark on Weekday? means. The ? symbol indicates an Optional type which means the value can either be some value or a nil value. We will be covering Optionals in-depth in a later lesson, but you can learn more about them here.

Because it is possible that someone enters a raw value that isn’t assigned to any case in the Weekday enumeration, initializing from a raw value can return nil.

If you create an enumeration with String raw values and don’t provide any values, the raw value will be the same as the case name:

enum Status: String { case complete case pending case rejected } let myStatus = Status.complete print(myStatus.rawValue) // Prints: complete



Make the Vehicle enumeration store raw values of the Character type.


Explicitly assign the value of "T" to the truck case, "B" to the boat case, and "A" to the airplane case.


Print the raw value of the airplane case to the console.


Create a constant called myBoat and assign an instance of Vehicle of the case boat using its raw value.

Take this course for free

By signing up for Codecademy, you agree to Codecademy's Terms of Service & Privacy Policy.
Already have an account?