# Demystifying Python Operator Precedence and Associativity with Example

Python, as a versatile and dynamic programming language, provides a rich set of operators for performing various tasks in programming. To write efficient and bug-free code, it’s essential to understand how these operators behave in terms of precedence and associativity. This article aims to demystify Python operator precedence and associativity using clear examples.

Table of Contents

## 1. Operator Precedence.

1. Operator precedence determines the order in which operators are evaluated in an expression.
2. Some operators have higher precedence, and they are evaluated before operators with lower precedence.
3. Here is a breakdown of common Python operators based on their precedence levels, from highest to lowest:
4. Exponentiation (`**`).
5. Unary plus (`+`) and unary minus (`-`).
6. Multiplication (`*`), division (`/`), floor division (`//`), and modulo (`%`).
7. Addition (`+`) and subtraction (`-`).
8. Bitwise left shift (`<<`) and right shift (`>>`).
9. Bitwise AND (`&`).
10. Bitwise XOR (`^`).
11. Bitwise OR (`|`).
12. Comparison operators (`<`, `<=`, `>`, `>=`, `==`, `!=`).
13. Logical NOT (`not`).
14. Logical AND (`and`).
15. Logical OR (`or`).
16. Parentheses can be used to explicitly control the order of evaluation. Expressions inside parentheses are evaluated first, regardless of the operator precedence.

## 2. Associativity.

1. Associativity defines the order in which operators of the same precedence are evaluated when they appear in a sequence.
2. Python operators are generally left-associative, meaning they are evaluated from left to right.
3. For example, in the expression `5 – 3 – 1`, the subtraction operator is evaluated left to right: `(5 – 3) – 1`.
4. However, exponentiation (`**`) is right-associative, which means that multiple exponentiation operators are evaluated from right to left.
5. For instance, in the expression `2 ** 3 ** 2`, the exponentiation operators are evaluated as `2 ** (3 ** 2)`.

```>>> 2**3**2
512
>>> 2**9
512```

## 3. Examples.

1. Let’s explore some examples to illustrate operator precedence and associativity in Python.
2. Example 1: Operator Precedence.

```result = 5 + 2 * 3  # Multiplication is evaluated first
print(result)       # Output: 11```
3. Example 2: Parentheses to Override Precedence.

```result = (5 + 2) * 3  # Addition is evaluated first due to parentheses
print(result)         # Output: 21```
4. Example 3: Right-Associative Exponentiation.

```result = 2 ** 3 ** 2  # Exponentiation is evaluated from right to left
print(result)         # Output: 512```
5. Example 4: Mixed Precedence and Associativity.

```result = 4 + 8 / 2 ** 2  # Division and exponentiation are evaluated before addition
print(result)            # Output: 6.0```
6. Example 5: Logical Operators.

```a = True
b = False
c = False

result = a or b and c  # `and` has higher precedence than `or`
print(result)          # Output: True

result_1 = a or (b and c)
print(result_1)        # Output: True.

result_2 = (a or b) and c
print(result_2)        # Output: False.```

## 4. Conclusion.

1. Understanding operator precedence and associativity is crucial for writing correct and efficient code.
2. It ensures that expressions are evaluated as intended and prevents unexpected behavior.
3. Remember that using parentheses judiciously can help you explicitly control the order of evaluation in complex expressions.
4. In conclusion, mastering operator precedence and associativity empowers you to write clean and effective Python code.
5. By carefully considering these concepts, you can create programs that perform accurately and efficiently in various scenarios.

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