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Assignment Operator Expression

An assignment operator assigns a value to its left operand based on the value of its right operand.

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Overview

The basic assignment operator is equal (), which assigns the value of its right operand to its left operand. That is, assigns the value of to . The other assignment operators are usually shorthand for standard operations, as shown in the following definitions and examples.

Assignment

Simple assignment operator which assigns a value to a variable. The assignment operation evaluates to the assigned value. Chaining the assignment operator is possible in order to assign a single value to multiple variables. See the example.

Syntax

Operator: x = y

Examples

// Assuming the following variables // x = 5 // y = 10 // z = 25 x = y // x is 10 x = y = z // x, y and z are all 25

Addition assignment

The addition assignment operator adds the value of the right operand to a variable and assigns the result to the variable. The types of the two operands determine the behavior of the addition assignment operator. Addition or concatenation is possible. See the addition operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x += y Meaning: x = x + y

Examples

// Assuming the following variables // foo = 'foo' // bar = 5 // baz = true // Number + Number -> addition bar += 2 // 7 // Boolean + Number -> addition baz += 1 // 2 // Boolean + Boolean -> addition baz += false // 1 // Number + String -> concatenation bar += 'foo' // "5foo" // String + Boolean -> concatenation foo += false // "foofalse" // String + String -> concatenation foo += 'bar' // "foobar"

Subtraction assignment

The subtraction assignment operator subtracts the value of the right operand from a variable and assigns the result to the variable. See the subtraction operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x -= y Meaning: x = x - y

Examples

// Assuming the following variable // bar = 5 bar -= 2 // 3 bar -= 'foo' // NaN

Multiplication assignment

The multiplication assignment operator multiplies a variable by the value of the right operand and assigns the result to the variable. See the multiplication operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x *= y Meaning: x = x * y

Examples

// Assuming the following variable // bar = 5 bar *= 2 // 10 bar *= 'foo' // NaN

Division assignment

The division assignment operator divides a variable by the value of the right operand and assigns the result to the variable. See the division operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x /= y Meaning: x = x / y

Examples

// Assuming the following variable // bar = 5 bar /= 2 // 2.5 bar /= 'foo' // NaN bar /= 0 // Infinity

Remainder assignment

The remainder assignment operator divides a variable by the value of the right operand and assigns the remainder to the variable. See the remainder operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x %= y Meaning: x = x % y

Examples

// Assuming the following variable // bar = 5 bar %= 2 // 1 bar %= 'foo' // NaN bar %= 0 // NaN

Exponentiation assignment

This is an experimental technology, part of the ECMAScript 2016 (ES7) proposal.
Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for usage in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future version of browsers as the spec changes.

The exponentiation assignment operator evaluates to the result of raising first operand to the power second operand. See the exponentiation operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x **= y Meaning: x = x ** y

Examples

// Assuming the following variable // bar = 5 bar **= 2 // 25 bar **= 'foo' // NaN

Left shift assignment

The left shift assignment operator moves the specified amount of bits to the left and assigns the result to the variable. See the left shift operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x <<= y Meaning: x = x << y

Examples

var bar = 5; // (00000000000000000000000000000101) bar <<= 2; // 20 (00000000000000000000000000010100)

Right shift assignment

The right shift assignment operator moves the specified amount of bits to the right and assigns the result to the variable. See the right shift operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x >>= y Meaning: x = x >> y

Examples

var bar = 5; // (00000000000000000000000000000101) bar >>= 2; // 1 (00000000000000000000000000000001) var bar -5; // (-00000000000000000000000000000101) bar >>= 2; // -2 (-00000000000000000000000000000010)

Unsigned right shift assignment

The unsigned right shift assignment operator moves the specified amount of bits to the right and assigns the result to the variable. See the unsigned right shift operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x >>>= y Meaning: x = x >>> y

Examples

var bar = 5; // (00000000000000000000000000000101) bar >>>= 2; // 1 (00000000000000000000000000000001) var bar = -5; // (-00000000000000000000000000000101) bar >>>= 2; // 1073741822 (00111111111111111111111111111110)

Bitwise AND assignment

The bitwise AND assignment operator uses the binary representation of both operands, does a bitwise AND operation on them and assigns the result to the variable. See the bitwise AND operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x &= y Meaning: x = x & y

Example

var bar = 5; // 5: 00000000000000000000000000000101 // 2: 00000000000000000000000000000010 bar &= 2; // 0

Bitwise XOR assignment

The bitwise XOR assignment operator uses the binary representation of both operands, does a bitwise XOR operation on them and assigns the result to the variable. See the bitwise XOR operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x ^= y Meaning: x = x ^ y

Example

var bar = 5; bar ^= 2; // 7 // 5: 00000000000000000000000000000101 // 2: 00000000000000000000000000000010 // ----------------------------------- // 7: 00000000000000000000000000000111

Bitwise OR assignment

The bitwise OR assignment operator uses the binary representation of both operands, does a bitwise OR operation on them and assigns the result to the variable. See the bitwise OR operator for more details.

Syntax

Operator: x |= y Meaning: x = x | y

Example

var bar = 5; bar |= 2; // 7 // 5: 00000000000000000000000000000101 // 2: 00000000000000000000000000000010 // ----------------------------------- // 7: 00000000000000000000000000000111

Examples

Left operand with another assignment operator

In unusual situations, the assignment operator (e.g.) is not identical to the meaning expression (here ). When the left operand of an assignment operator itself contains an assignment operator, the left operand is evaluated only once. For example:

a[i++] += 5 // i is evaluated only once a[i++] = a[i++] + 5 // i is evaluated twice

Specifications

Browser compatibility

The compatibility table on this page is generated from structured data. If you'd like to contribute to the data, please check out https://github.com/mdn/browser-compat-data and send us a pull request.

DesktopMobileServer
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidEdge MobileFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidiOS SafariSamsung InternetNode.js
Addition assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Bitwise AND assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Bitwise OR assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Bitwise XOR assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Division assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Exponentiation assignment ()Full support 52 ? Full support 52No support NoFull support Yes ? Full support 51Full support 52 ? Full support 52Full support Yes ? ? Full support Yes
Left shift assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Multiplication assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Remainder assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Right shift assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Subtraction assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes
Unsigned right shift assignment ()Full support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support YesFull support Yes ? Full support Yes

Legend

Full support
Full support
No support
No support
Compatibility unknown
Compatibility unknown

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page:wbamberg, stephaniehobson, fscholz, jameshkramer, nmve, kdex, torazaburo, samuele-artuso, io-ma, Sebastianz, JDurston, phylasnier, Havvy, Delapouite, Meghraj, Sheppy, trevorh, ethertank, Potappo, Mgjbot, Marcoos, Dria

 Last updated by:wbamberg,

Leave classes, objects, and methods behind to examine the smallest elements of Java programming. This chapter covers the basic things you can do in a single line of Java code, such as: creating variables and assigning values to them; using literals to represent numeric, character, and string values; and working with operators. Using statements and expressions enables you to begin building effective methods, which make effective objects and classes possible.

Leave classes, objects, and methods behind to examine the smallest elements of Java programming. This chapter covers the basic things you can do in a single line of Java code.

This chapter is from the book 

A Java program is made up of classes and objects, which in turn are made up of methods and variables. Methods are made up of statements and expressions, which are made up of operators.

At this point, you might be afraid that Java is like the Russian nesting dolls called matryoshka. Every one of those dolls seems to have a smaller doll inside it, which is as intricate and detailed as its larger companion.

This chapter clears away the big dolls to reveal the smallest elements of Java programming. You'll leave classes, objects, and methods alone for a day and examine the basic things you can do in a single line of Java code.

The following subjects are covered:

  • Java statements and expressions

  • Variables and data types

  • Constants

  • Comments

  • Literals

  • Arithmetic

  • Comparisons

  • Logical operators

NOTE

Because of Java's ties to C and C++, much of the material in this chapter will look familiar to programmers who are well versed in those languages.

Statements and Expressions

All tasks that you want to accomplish in a Java program can be broken down into a series of statements.

New Term

A statement is a simple command written in a programming language that causes something to happen.

Statements represent a single action that is taken in a Java program. All of the following are simple Java statements:

int weight = 295; System.out.println("Free the bound periodicals!"); song.duration = 230;

Some statements can convey a value, such as when you add two numbers together in a program or evaluate whether two variables are equal to each other. These kinds of statements are called expressions.

New Term

An expression is a statement that results in a value being produced. The value can be stored for later use in the program, used immediately in another statement, or disregarded. The value produced by a statement is called its return value.

Some expressions produce a numerical return value, as in the example of adding two numbers together. Others produce a Boolean value— or —or can even produce a Java object. They are discussed later today.

Although many Java programs list one statement per line, this is a formatting decision that does not determine where one statement ends and another one begins. Each statement in Java is terminated with a semicolon character (). A programmer can put more than one statement on a line and it will compile successfully, as in the following example:

dante.speed = 2; dante.temperature = 510;

Statements in Java are grouped using the opening curly brace () and closing curly brace (). A group of statements organized between these characters is called a block or block statement, and you learn more about them during Day 5, "Lists, Logic, and Loops."

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