I'm using a subscript as a counter in some code. Here, I give a value:

Subscript[θ, 1] = 0

Without making any other assignments, I want to check if other Subscript[θ, i] have values.

Table[Subscript[θ, i], {i, 3}]
Table[ValueQ[Subscript[θ, i]], {i, 3}]

This give {0, Subscript[θ, 2], Subscript[θ, 3]} and {True,True,True}. Why isn't the second output {True,False,False}?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ It's because Subscript[θ, i] evaluates to Subscript[θ, 2] and so it has a value. If you were to use Table[With[{i = i}, ValueQ[Subscript[θ, i]]], {i, 3}] you would get your desired result. $\endgroup$
    – Carl Woll
    Apr 3 at 0:17

1 Answer 1


(* "14.0.0 for Mac OS X ARM (64-bit) (December 13, 2023)" *)


Use indexed variables displayed as subscripted variables.

Format[θ[i_]] := Subscript[θ, i]

θ[1] = 0;

Table[θ[i], {i, 3}]

(* {0, Subscript[θ, 2], Subscript[θ, 3]} *)

If a value has been assigned then the Head is not θ

Table[Head[θ[i]] =!= θ, {i, 3}]

(* {True, False, False} *)

Or, to test for a numeric value

Table[NumericQ[θ[i]], {i, 3}]

(* {True, False, False} *)
  • $\begingroup$ NumericQ does it. I was hoping that the documentation on ValueQ would contain something like this in the See Also menu, but crickets. $\endgroup$ Apr 3 at 15:35

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