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CSS Combinators


CSS Combinators

A combinator is something that explains the relationship between the selectors.

A CSS selector can contain more than one simple selector. Between the simple selectors, we can include a combinator.

There are four different combinators in CSS:

  • descendant selector (space)
  • child selector (>)
  • adjacent sibling selector (+)
  • general sibling selector (~)

Descendant Selector

The descendant selector matches all elements that are descendants of a specified element.

The following example selects all <p> elements inside <div> elements: 

Example

div p {
  background-color: yellow;
}
Try it Yourself »

Child Selector

The child selector selects all elements that are the children of a specified element.

The following example selects all <p> elements that are children of a <div> element:

Example

div > p {
  background-color: yellow;
}
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Adjacent Sibling Selector

The adjacent sibling selector selects all elements that are the adjacent siblings of a specified element.

Sibling elements must have the same parent element, and "adjacent" means "immediately following".

The following example selects all <p> elements that are placed immediately after <div> elements:

Example

div + p {
  background-color: yellow;
}
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General Sibling Selector

The general sibling selector selects all elements that are siblings of a specified element.

The following example selects all <p> elements that are siblings of <div> elements: 

Example

div ~ p {
  background-color: yellow;
}
Try it Yourself »

All CSS Combinator Selectors

Selector Example Example description
element element div p Selects all <p> elements inside <div> elements
element>element div > p Selects all <p> elements where the parent is a <div> element
element+element div + p Selects all <p> elements that are placed immediately after <div> elements
element1~element2 p ~ ul Selects every <ul> element that are preceded by a <p> element