“int cannot be dereferenced” in Java

I’m fairly new to Java and I’m using BlueJ. I keep getting this “Int cannot be dereferenced” error when trying to compile and I’m not sure what the problem is. The error is specifically happening in my if statement at the bottom, where it says “equals” is an error and “int cannot be dereferenced.” Hope to get some assistance as I have no idea what to do. Thank you in advance!

public class Catalog {
    private Item[] list;
    private int size;

    // Construct an empty catalog with the specified capacity.
    public Catalog(int max) {
        list = new Item[max];
        size = 0;

    // Insert a new item into the catalog.
    // Throw a CatalogFull exception if the catalog is full.
    public void insert(Item obj) throws CatalogFull {
        if (list.length == size) {
            throw new CatalogFull();
        list[size] = obj;

    // Search the catalog for the item whose item number
    // is the parameter id.  Return the matching object 
    // if the search succeeds.  Throw an ItemNotFound
    // exception if the search fails.
    public Item find(int id) throws ItemNotFound {
        for (int pos = 0; pos < size; ++pos){
            if (id.equals(list[pos].getItemNumber())){ //Getting error on "equals"
                return list[pos];
            else {
                throw new ItemNotFound();

6 Answers

id is of primitive type int and not an Object. You cannot call methods on a primitive as you are doing here :


Try replacing this:

        if (id.equals(list[pos].getItemNumber())){ //Getting error on "equals"


        if (id == list[pos].getItemNumber()){ //Getting error on "equals"

Basically, you’re trying to use int as if it was an Object, which it isn’t (well…it’s complicated)


Should be…

id == list[pos].getItemNumber()

Assuming getItemNumber() returns an int, replace

if (id.equals(list[pos].getItemNumber()))


if (id == list[pos].getItemNumber())




id == list[pos].getItemNumber()

For more details, you should learn the difference between the primitive types like int, char, and double and reference types.

As your methods an int datatype, you should use “==” instead of equals()

try replacing this if (id.equals(list[pos].getItemNumber()))


if (id.equals==list[pos].getItemNumber())

it will fix the error .


id == list[pos].getItemNumber()

instead of


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *