Python - Assignment Operators

The = (equal to) symbol is defined as assignment operator in Python. The value of Python expression on its right is assigned to a single variable on its left. The = symbol as in programming in general (and Python in particular) should not be confused with its usage in Mathematics, where it states that the expressions on the either side of the symbol are equal.

In addition to the simple assignment operator, Python provides few more assignment operators for advanced use. They are called cumulative or augmented assignment operators. In this chapter, we shall learn to use augmented assignment operators defined in Python.

Consider following Python statements −

print (a)

At the first instance, at least for somebody new to programming but who knows maths, the statement "a=a+b" looks strange. How could a be equal to "a+b"? However, it needs to be reemphasized that the = symbol is an assignment operator here and not used to show the equality of LHS and RHS.

Because it is an assignment, the expression on right evaluates to 15, the value is assigned to a.

In the statement "a+=b", the two operators "+" and "=" can be combined in a "+=" operator. It is called as add and assign operator. In a single statement, it performs addition of two operands "a" and "b", and result is assigned to operand on left, i.e., "a".

The += operator is an augmented operator. It is also called cumulative addition operator, as it adds "b" in "a" and assigns the result back to a variable.

Python has the augmented assignment operators for all arithmetic and comparison operators.

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