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.

## 1. Operator Precedence.

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

## 2. Associativity.

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

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

result = 5 + 2 * 3 # Multiplication is evaluated first print(result) # Output: 11

- Example 2:
**Parentheses to Override Precedence**.

result = (5 + 2) * 3 # Addition is evaluated first due to parentheses print(result) # Output: 21

- Example 3:
**Right-Associative Exponentiation**.

result = 2 ** 3 ** 2 # Exponentiation is evaluated from right to left print(result) # Output: 512

- Example 4:
**Mixed Precedence and Associativity**.

result = 4 + 8 / 2 ** 2 # Division and exponentiation are evaluated before addition print(result) # Output: 6.0

- 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.

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