What are Operators and Expressions in Python

Published On: Wed, 29 Nov 2023 Updated On: Wed, 29 Nov 2023

Operators and Expressions in Python

Operators and expressions are fundamental concepts in programming that allow us to perform various operations on data. Several operators are available in Python, each serving a specific purpose. Understanding operators and their precedence is crucial for writing efficient and error-free code. Let's explore the different types of operators, their precedence, and how to evaluate expressions effectively.

Overview of Operators

Python supports various types of operators. Below are the main categories:

  • Arithmetic Operators
  • Assignment Operators
  • Comparison Operators
  • Logical Operators
  • Bitwise Operators
Code Example

name = "Bob"
age = 28
message = f"Hello, {name}! You are {age} years old."


Precedence and Associativity of Operators

Operators have different precedences, meaning some operators are evaluated before others. It's essential to understand the order of evaluation to avoid ambiguity and obtain accurate results. Below is the precedence order:

  1. Parentheses ()
  2. Exponentiation **
  3. Unary plus + and unary minus -
  4. Multiplication *, division /, and modulus %
  5. Addition + and subtraction -
  6. Bitwise shift << and >>
  7. Bitwise AND &
  8. Bitwise OR |
  9. Bitwise XOR ^
  10. Comparison operators (<, >, <=, >=, ==, !=)
  11. Logical NOT not
  12. Logical AND and
  13. Logical OR or
  14. Assignment operators =, +=, -=, and so on

Evaluating Expressions and Order of Operations

When evaluating expressions, Python follows the rules of operator precedence. Parentheses can be used to change the order of evaluation and prioritize certain operations. Let's look at an example:

Code Example

x = 5
y = 3
z = 2
result = x + y * z # First, y * z is evaluated (3 * 2 = 6), then x + 6 = 11


To enforce a specific order, use parentheses:

Code Example

result = (x + y) * z   # First, x + y is evaluated (5 + 3 = 8), then 8 * 2 = 16


Understanding operator precedence and associativity is crucial to avoid unexpected results in complex expressions.


Operators and expressions form the building blocks of Python programs. They enable us to perform mathematical calculations, compare values, and make logical decisions. Understanding the precedence and associativity of operators is vital for writing accurate and efficient code. By mastering these concepts, you will gain more control over your Python programs and be better equipped to solve a wide range of problems in the world of programming. Happy coding!

What are Operators and Expressions in Python

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