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Operators in Python: A Beginner’s Guide to Arithmetic, Relational, Logical & More

Python is a user-friendly programming language that makes your life easy. That’s one of the reasons it is the most preferable language to most developers. Besides its simple syntax and useful built-in methods, Python is famous for its variety of operators, such as +,=,-,% and * that you can use for doing calculations quickly. As there are many operators in Python that you can use within programs, this article will help you know more about them. Read on…

What are Operators in Python?

In Python, you are able to perform various operations on variables using operators. They can be considered as special symbols that are used for specifying that some computation has to be executed. These computations may be arithmetic or logical. For example,

>>> 2+2

4

Here, the + symbol is the arithmetic operator performing the addition of two numbers, 2 and 2. The numbers, 2 and 2, are the operands and 4 is the final output. An operator can be a literal value, such as 2 or a variable. For example,

>>> a= 4

>>> b= 8

>>> a+b

12  

Such a sequence of operators in Python along with the operands are together called an expression.

Let us now look at the different operators in Python!

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Types of Python Operators

Arithmetic operators

These operators are used for performing basic mathematical operations in Python. And, they are:

  • Addition

It adds two or more operands, such as 2+5 is 7 

  • Subtraction

It subtracts one operand from the other like  2-5 is -3

  • Multiplication

It multiplies two operands like 2*5 is 10

  • Division

It divides two operands, such as 4/2 is 2

  • Exponentiation

This raises the first number to the power of the second number like 2**2 is 4

  • Floor division

This divides two operands and gives the quotient, such as 10//3 is 3

  • Modulus

This divides two operands and gives the remainder value like  10%3 is 1

Relational operators

These operators in Python are used for comparing two values and return the output as True or False.

  • >

It checks whether the left operand is larger than the right, and returns True or False. Example: 4>3 (True)

  • <

It checks whether the left operand is smaller than the right, and returns True or False. Example: 4<3 (False)

  • ==

It checks whether two operands are equal, and returns True or False. Example: 4==3 (False)

  • !=

It checks whether two operands are not equal, and returns True or False.

  • >=

It evaluates whether x is greater than or equal to y, and returns True or False.

  • <=

It returns True if x is less than or equal to y.

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Logical operators

You can use them for combining two logical statements. 

  • And

This returns True if two statements are correct.

  • Or

This returns True if one of the statements is correct.

  • Not

This reverses the output and returns False if the output is True.

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Bitwise operators

They are used for comparing binary numbers.

  • & (AND) – When both bits are 1, it sets each bit to 1.
  • | (OR) – When one of the two bits is 1, this operator in Python sets each of them to 1.
  • ^ (XOR) – When one of the two bits is 1, it sets each bit to 1.
  • ~  (NOT) – This operator inverts the bit values.
  • << – This shifts bits of a number to the left as per the specified number of places.
  • >> – This shifts bits of a number to the right as per the specified number of places.

Assignment operators

Variables are assigned values using these operators.

Operator  Meaning  Example 
= x = 2 x = 2
+= x += 2 x = x + 2
-= x -= 2 x = x – 2
*= x *= 4 x = x * 4
/= x /= 4 x = x / 4
%= x %= 5 x = x % 5
//= x //= 5 x = x // 5


Identity operators

These operators in Python are used for determining whether two variables are located in the same memory location.

  • is 

This operator returns True if two operands are equal, referring to the same object. For example, >>> ‘4’ is “4” (True)

  • is not  

This returns True when two numbers are not equal. This means they do not refer to the same object. For example, >>> ‘4’ is “40” (False)

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Membership operators

These operators in Python are used for evaluating whether a variable exists in a sequence or not.

  • in 

It checks if a value is part of a sequence, such as a list. For example, >> ‘cat’ in ‘categories’ (True)

  • not in 

It checks if a value is not a part of a sequence. For example, >> ‘cat’ in ‘Batman’ (False)

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Conclusion

So, now that you have a basic understanding of the operators in Python, play around until you master them. Learn more about python applications in real life. You can start experimenting directly in the Python console without writing separate programs.

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What is the difference between = and == in Python?

In terms of programming languages like Python and several others, = and == mean two different things. A single equal mark is used to assign a value to any variable, while the two consecutive equal marks are used to check that the two expressions on either side of the mark hold the same value.

In simple terms, ‘=’ is an assignment operator, while ‘==’ is an equality operator. Let us look at an example to understand it better. Let us say, X=15, Y=15, Z=10. Here, 'X=15' denotes that the value 15 has been assigned to X. On the other hand, if we say 'X==Y,' then it's completely true because both X and Y hold the same value. But, if we say 'X==Z,' then that will be a wrong expression.

What is the difference between / and // in Python?

People often get confused between the use of '/' and '//.' They both tend to have a huge difference. The '/' sign is the basic division sign that divides the left-hand operand with the one that is to the right of the sign. For example: 10 / 2 = 5. The '//' sign is the Floor Division sign. Here, the division takes place, and the result is the quotient where all the digits after the decimal point are removed. So, it's like the floor function. But, there is another case that if the operand is negative, then the result will be floored and moved towards negative infinity. For example: 8 // 3 = 2, -11 // 3 = -4.

What is a ternary operator? How are ternary operators used in Python?

The ternary operator is useful for evaluating a statement. Any action would be performed by the ternary operators based on the condition of whether the statement is true or false. There are three parameters used in the ternary conditional operator in Python: if_true, expression, and if_false.

The ternary operators are used for determining the value of any variable. If the statement is found to be true, then the variable takes the value of 'if_true,' or else it will take the value of 'if_false.'

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