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Shortest word in a string with LINQ

In this post, we’ll try to find the shortest word in a string using LINQ.


Given a string of words, return the length of the shortest word in the string.

Forget the edge cases of handling (empty or null).

Ex: “The shortest string” => should output 3 for “The”

Initial thoughts

So there will be a string which contains words. First, we’ll split that string with empty space so that we’ll get all the words in a string.

Now, we can sort the list of strings by length so that our shortest word will be in the first place and then we can perform a FirstOrDefault on it.

public int ShortestWord(string s)
​    return s.Split(' ').OrderBy(x => x.Length).FirstOrDefault().Length;

or we can do an orderby and then do a select the length and return the first item.

return s.Split(' ').OrderBy(i => i.Length).Select(i=>i.Length).First();

There can be many solutions like this.

Okay, we’ll see what’s the best or the clever solution

Best Solution

We have the .Min extension method in LINQ. That should be sufficient to return the minimum length of the word.

public int ShortestWord(string s)
​    return s.Split(' ').Min(x => x.Length);

That’s it! That will return the minimum length of a word in a string.


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