JAVA BEGINNERS TUTORIAL – Operators

Operators are special symbols that perform specific operations on one, two, or three operands, and then return a result. As we explore Java operators, it will be helpful for any body to know ahead of time which operators have the highest precedence. The operators in the following table are listed according to precedence order. The closer to the top of the table an operator appears, the higher its precedence. Operators with higher precedence are evaluated before operators with relatively lower precedence. Operators on the same line have equal precedence. When operators of equal precedence appear in the same expression, a rule must govern which is evaluated first. All binary operators except for the assignment operators are evaluated from left to right; assignment operators are evaluated right to left.

Operator Precedence
Operators Precedence
postfix expr++ expr–
unary ++expr –expr +expr -expr ~ !
multiplicative * / %
additive + –
shift << >> >>>
relational < > <= >= instanceof
equality == !=
bitwise AND &
bitwise exclusive OR ^
bitwise inclusive OR |
logical AND &&
logical OR ||
ternary ? :
assignment = += -= *= /= %= &= ^= |= <<= >>= >>>=

The Arithmetic Operators:

Arithmetic operators are used in mathematical expressions in the same way that they are used in algebra. The following table lists the arithmetic operators:

Assume integer variable A holds 10 and variable B holds 20, then:

Operator Description Example
+ Addition – Adds values on either side of the operator A + B will give 30
Subtraction – Subtracts right hand operand from left hand operand A – B will give -10
* Multiplication – Multiplies values on either side of the operator A * B will give 200
/ Division – Divides left hand operand by right hand operand B / A will give 2
% Modulus – Divides left hand operand by right hand operand and returns remainder B % A will give 0
++ Increment – Increases the value of operand by 1 B++ gives 21
Decrement – Decreases the value of operand by 1 B– gives 19

Example

The Assignment Operators:

There are following assignment operators in Java:

Operator Description Example
= Simple assignment operator, Assigns values from right side operands to left side operand C = A + B will assign value of A + B into C
+= Add AND assignment operator, It adds right operand to the left operand and assign the result to left operand C += A is equivalent to C = C + A
-= Subtract AND assignment operator, It subtracts right operand from the left operand and assign the result to left operand C -= A is equivalent to C = C – A
*= Multiply AND assignment operator, It multiplies right operand with the left operand and assign the result to left operand C *= A is equivalent to C = C * A
/= Divide AND assignment operator, It divides left operand with the right operand and assign the result to left operand C /= A is equivalent to C = C / A
%= Modulus AND assignment operator, It takes modulus using two operands and assign the result to left operand C %= A is equivalent to C = C % A
<<= Left shift AND assignment operator C <<= 2 is same as C = C << 2
>>= Right shift AND assignment operator C >>= 2 is same as C = C >> 2
&= Bitwise AND assignment operator C &= 2 is same as C = C & 2
^= bitwise exclusive OR and assignment operator C ^= 2 is same as C = C ^ 2
|= bitwise inclusive OR and assignment operator C |= 2 is same as C = C | 2

Example:

The Relational Operators:

There are following relational operators supported by Java language

Assume variable A holds 10 and variable B holds 20, then:

Operator Description Example
== Checks if the values of two operands are equal or not, if yes then condition becomes true. (A == B) is not true.
!= Checks if the values of two operands are equal or not, if values are not equal then condition becomes true. (A != B) is true.
> Checks if the value of left operand is greater than the value of right operand, if yes then condition becomes true. (A > B) is not true.
< Checks if the value of left operand is less than the value of right operand, if yes then condition becomes true. (A < B) is true.
>= Checks if the value of left operand is greater than or equal to the value of right operand, if yes then condition becomes true. (A >= B) is not true.
<= Checks if the value of left operand is less than or equal to the value of right operand, if yes then condition becomes true. (A <= B) is true.

Example:

The Bitwise Operators:

Java defines several bitwise operators, which can be applied to the integer types, long, int, short, char, and byte.

Bitwise operator works on bits and performs bit-by-bit operation. Assume if a = 60; and b = 13; now in binary format they will be as follows:

a = 0011 1100

b = 0000 1101

The following table lists the bitwise operators:

Assume integer variable A holds 60 and variable B holds 13 then:

Operator Description Example
& Binary AND Operator copies a bit to the result if it exists in both operands. (A & B) will give 12 which is 0000 1100
| Binary OR Operator copies a bit if it exists in either operand. (A | B) will give 61 which is 0011 1101
^ Binary XOR Operator copies the bit if it is set in one operand but not both. (A ^ B) will give 49 which is 0011 0001
~ Binary Ones Complement Operator is unary and has the effect of ‘flipping’ bits. (~A ) will give -61 which is 1100 0011 in 2’s complement form due to a signed binary number.
<< Binary Left Shift Operator. The left operands value is moved left by the number of bits specified by the right operand. A << 2 will give 240 which is 1111 0000
>> Binary Right Shift Operator. The left operands value is moved right by the number of bits specified by the right operand. A >> 2 will give 15 which is 1111
>>> Shift right zero fill operator. The left operands value is moved right by the number of bits specified by the right operand and shifted values are filled up with zeros. A >>>2 will give 15 which is 0000 1111

Example:

The Conditional Operators:

The following table lists the Conditional operators:

Operator Description Example
&& Called Logical AND operator. If both the operands are non-zero, then the condition becomes true. (A && B) is false.
|| Called Logical OR Operator. If any of the two operands are non-zero, then the condition becomes true. (A || B) is true.
! Called Logical NOT Operator. Use to reverses the logical state of its operand. If a condition is true then Logical NOT operator will make false. !(A && B) is true.

Example:

Misc Operators

There are few other operators in Java.

Ternary Operator ( ? : ):

It is a short conditional operator  consists of three operands and is used to evaluate Boolean expressions. The goal of the operator is to decide which value should be assigned to the variable. The operator is written as:

Example

instanceof Operator:

This operator is used only for object reference variables. The operator checks whether the object is of a particular type(class type or interface type). instanceof operator is wriiten as:

If the object referred by the variable on the left side of the operator passes the IS-A check for the class/interface type on the right side, then the result will be true. Following is the example:

This operator will still return true if the object being compared is the assignment compatible with the type on the right. Following is one more example:

in this case the result will be true.