 Operator Precedence

When you deal with operators in Python, it is essential to understand the concept of Python operator precedence and associativity. It is because they determine the priorities of the operator otherwise we will have unexpected outputs. Operator Precedence

We use this in an expression that has more than one operator with difference precedence to determine which operation must be performed first.

Example

Solve 25 + 10 * 20

25 + 10 * 20 is calculated as 25 + (10 * 20)

and not as (25 + 10) * 20

Code:

Python3

filter_none

edit

play_arrow

brightness_4

# Precedence of '+' & '*'

expr = 25 + 10 * 20

print(expr)

Output:

225

Precedence of Python Operators

We term the combination of values, variables, operators, and function calls as an expression. The Python interpreter can evaluate a valid expression. For instance:

>>> 3 – 8

-5

Over here, 3 – 8 is an expression. Thus, there can be more than one operator in an expression. Moreover, in order to evaluate these kinds of expressions, there is a rule of precedence in Python. In other words, it guides the order in which these operations carry out.

 Operators Meaning () Parentheses ** Exponent +x, -x, ~x Unary plus, Unary minus, Bitwise NOT *, /, //, % Multiplication, Division, Floor division, Modulus +, – Addition, Subtraction <<, >> Bitwise shift operators & Bitwise AND ^ Bitwise XOR | Bitwise OR ==, !=, >, >=, <, <=, is, is not, in, not in Comparisons, Identity, Membership operators not Logical NOT and Logical AND or Logical OR

For instance, multiplication has higher precedence than subtraction.

# Multiplication has higher precedence

# than subtraction

>>> 10 - 4 * 2

2

However, we can change this order by making use of parentheses () as it has higher precedence than multiplication.

# Parentheses () has higher precedence

>>> (10 - 4) * 2

12

If you look at the operator precedence in Python in the table mentioned above, you will see it is in descending order. In other words, the upper group has higher precedence than the lower ones.

Example

To understand this better, we will take a look at some examples:

Suppose that you are constructing an if…else block which runs if when breakfast is either cereal or toast and only if money is more than or equal to 2.

# Precedence of or & and

meal = " cereal "

money = 0

if meal == " cereal" or meal == " toast" and money >= 2:

print("Breakfast  being delivered")

else:

print("Can't deliver breakfast ")

Output

Breakfast  being delivered

Associativity of Python Operators

The table makes it clear that more than one operator is present in the same group. In other words, these operators have the same precedence. Thus, when two operators have the same precedence, associativity assists in determining the order of operations.

Further, we see that associativity refers to the order in which an expression is assessed that has multiple operators of the same precedence. Similarly, almost all the operators have left-to-right associativity.

For instance, multiplication and floor division have the same precedence. Therefore, if both of them exist in an expression, the left one will be evaluated first.

# Left-right associativity

# Output: 3

print(5 * 2 // 3)

# Shows left-right associativity

# Output: 0

print(5 * (2 // 3))

Output

3

0

Note: Exponent operator ** has right-to-left associativity in Python.

# Shows the right-left associativity of **

# Output: 512, Since 2**(3**2) = 2**9

print(2 ** 3 ** 2)

# If 2 needs to be exponated first, need to use ()

# Output: 64

print((2 ** 3) ** 2)

We can see that 2 ** 3 ** 2 is equivalent to 2 ** (3 ** 2).

Non Associative Operators

Some operators like assignment operators and comparison operators do not have associativity in Python. Thus, we have separate rules for sequences of this kind of operator and we cannot express them as associativity.

For instance, x < y < z neither means (x < y) < z nor x < (y < z). x < y < z is equivalent to x < y and y < z, and is evaluated from left-to-right.

In addition, while chaining of assignments like x = y = z = 1 is perfectly valid, x = y = z+= 2 will result in error.

# Initialize x, y, z

x = y = z = 1

# Expression is invalid

# (Non-associative operators)

# SyntaxError: invalid syntax

x = y = z+= 2

Output

File "", line 8

x = y = z+= 2

^

SyntaxError: invalid syntax

FAQ on Operator Precedence

Question 1: Which is the order of precedence in Python?

Answer 1: Python follows the same precedence rules for its mathematical operators just like mathematics. Further, parentheses have the highest precedence we can use them to force an expression to evaluate in the order one wants. Moreover, as we evaluate expressions first in parentheses, 3 * (2-1) is 3, and (1+1)**(5-2) is 8.

Question 2: What is the precedence of logical operators?

Answer 2: The order of precedence is logical complements ( Not ) are performed first. After that, logical conjunctions ( And ) are performed next. Finally, logical disjunctions ( Or ) are performed at the end.

Question 3: What is the order of operations in Python?

Answer 3: PEMDAS is P, E, MD, AS; multiplication and division have the same precedence, and the same applies for addition and subtraction. Further, when a division operator appears before multiplication, division goes first. Thus, the order Python operators are executed in is governed by the operator precedence, and it follows the same rules.

Share with friends

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
5th
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.  Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Biology  Dr. Nazma Shaik
VTU
Chemistry  Gaurav Tiwari
APJAKTU
Physics
Get Started

Browse

Variables, Expressions and Statements 0 Followers

Most reacted comment
1 Comment authors Recent comment authors
Subscribe
Notify of Guest

Amazing article. Your blog helped me to improve myself in many ways thanks for sharing this kind of wonderful informative blogs in live. I also love your website because all type of information is available in your blogs. You made my day. Thanks you for everything. I have bookmarked more article from this website. Such a nice blog you are providing.