Function currying is best explained by using a simple example: a 2 arguments function adding some numbers together:

const add = (a, b) => a + b;

console.log(add(2, 3)); // 5

Nothing fancy so far. Before reading further try to answer yourself the following question:

What happens if I call the function with just 1 argument ? Eg console.log(add(2));

You may not be surprised that a beautiful NaN is being logged. But why is that ?

Well it turns out that when an argument is missing to a function an undefined is being passed in instead. So adding up undefined to whatever other number isn't going to end up well.

A way smarter behavior in my opinion would be for the function to detect that arguments are missing and wait for the remaining ones to be supplied, before acting on them.

const add = (a, b) => {
if (typeof b === "undefined") {
// b param is missing, return another FUNCTION that accepts the missing param
return function(missingB) {
return a + missingB;
// We have also b, add them up
return a + b;

const sum = add(5); // b is undefined, a Function is return accepting the missing b
console.log(sum(6)); // sum accepts the rest of the arguments(b=6) => console prints 11(5+6);

So now it's safe to call the function with less arguments and it will keep returning another function until all of the arguments have been passed.

So, problem solved ? Yes, sort off.

Imagine now that you have many other functions: divide, subtract etc and possibly many more arguments.

Coding these kind of checks into each and every one is not only tedious but also very error prone.

What if we could pack these checks into another function and generalize them a bit ?

Look at both versions of the add function above... You can think about them almost like 2 different functions that do the same thing in terms of computation but they're behavior is very different when the last argument is missing.

One of them crashes gloriously, the other one gracefully handles the missing argument and gives the consumer the chance the supply that missing argument later on.

The key idea to generalize these checks is to have a function, let's call it curry that is able in taking in the initial add function as argument and return a new and improved add function(the second version above) that has these checks built in.

All without us having to code the checks again and again.

A general curry function

First, it's really import to understand how this curry function actually looks like.

We said it takes in the initial add function and return a new shinny add function with some extra checks built in. So it's signature must probably look like this:

curry = (fn: Function): Function

And it's implementation outline like this:

const curry = fn => {
// fn is a Function
return function curriedFn() {
// Returns another function that does the same as fn
// Does the same computations as the fn function
// But with some added checks

Expanding on the implementation above there are a couple of requirements we need to address:

  1. The returned function(curriedFn) should do the same computations as the passed in fn function
  2. The returned function(curriedFn) should ensure that all arguments are passed in before doing any computations

Implementing the first requirement

We are required that the curried function and the original function should do the same computations:

const curry = fn => {
// fn is a Function
return function curriedFn(...args) {
// Returns another function that does the same as fn
return fn(...args); // There you go, curriedFn does the same computation is fn when called
// But with some added checks

That was easy. We're just collecting all the arguments curriedFn received and calling fn with all of them.

In case you're confused about the above curriedFn(...args) is the ES6 way of collecting all the arguments a function received into an array.

Finally fn(...args); is calling out the fn function and is spreading the arguments from the array, effectively the same as passing the array arguments individually, one by one, to the fn function:

fn(args[0], args[1], ....., args[n]);

Implementing the second requirement

Second requirement of currying is just a bit more elaborate. The plan is:

a. Find out how may parameters fn is expecting

b. Find out how may arguments there were passed in

c. If all the arguments were passed in call the original function passing along the arguments

d. Otherwise, return another function taking in the next argument

e. Repeat

Let's address them one by one.

How can we know how many parameters a function is expecting ?

It turns out all functions have a property called length that represents the number of formal parameters declared.

const add = (a,b, c) => ....
const sub = (x) => ...
console.log(add.length); // Prints 3 because there are 3 parameters declared: a,b,c
console.log(sub.length); // Prints 1 because there is 1 parameter declared: x

How can we know how many arguments a function has received ?

Like shown when we've addressed the first requirement, it is really easy to collect into an array the number of arguments passed in to a function.

Once we have them into an array it's just a matter of accessing the length property of the array in order to get it's size:

function foo(...args) {
console.log("I was called with the following num of arguments:", args.length);
foo(25); // I was called with the following num of arguments: 1
foo(1, 3); // I was called with the following num of arguments: 2

Putting it all together

const curry = (fn, remaingArgs = fn.length) => {
// fn is a Function
return function curriedFn(...args) {
// Returns another function that does the same as fn
if (args.length >= remaingArgs) {
return fn(...args);
// Not all arguments were passed in, return a function accepting the rest
return curry(curriedFn, remainingArgs - args.length);