Describe the Pseudo-classes in CSS?

If you are interested to learn about the CSS Combinators

What are Pseudo-classes?

A pseudo-class is used to define a special state of an element.

For example, it can be used to:

  • Style an element when a user mouses over it
  • Style visited and unvisited links differently
  • Style an element when it gets focus


The syntax of pseudo-classes:

selector:pseudo-class {
  property: value;

Anchor Pseudo-classes

Links can be displayed in different ways:


/* unvisited link */
a:link {
  color: #FF0000;

/* visited link */
a:visited {
  color: #00FF00;

/* mouse over link */
a:hover {
  color: #FF00FF;

/* selected link */
a:active {
  color: #0000FF;

Pseudo-classes and HTML Classes

Pseudo-classes can be combined with HTML classes:

When you hover over the link in the example, it will change color:


a.highlight:hover {
  color: #ff0000;

Hover on <div>

An example of using the :hover pseudo-class on a <div> element:


div:hover {
  background-color: blue;

Simple Tooltip Hover

Hover over a <div> element to show a <p> element (like a tooltip):

Hover over me to show the <p> element.


p {
  display: none;
  background-color: yellow;
  padding: 20px;

div:hover p {
  display: block;

CSS – The :first-child Pseudo-class

The :first-child pseudo-class matches a specified element that is the first child of another element.

Match the first <p> element

In the following example, the selector matches any <p> element that is the first child of any element:


p:first-child {
  color: blue;

Match the first <i> element in all <p> elements

In the following example, the selector matches the first <i> element in all <p> elements:


p i:first-child {
  color: blue;

Match all <i> elements in all first child <p> elements

In the following example, the selector matches all <i> elements in <p> elements that are the first child of another element:


p:first-child i {
  color: blue;

CSS – The :lang Pseudo-class

The :lang pseudo-class allows you to define special rules for different languages. In the example below, :lang defines the quotation marks for <q> elements with lang=”no”:


q:lang(no) {
  quotes: "~" "~";

<p>Some text <q lang="no">A quote in a paragraph</q> Some text.</p>

Describe the Pseudo-classes in CSS?
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