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# Python: Assignment Operators

Novelist & developer.

In a programming language, assignment operators are typically used to assign values to variables.

In Python, the basic assignment operator works like this:

Operator Description Example
`=` Assign a value to a variable `x = 2`

Python also has seven arithmetic assignment operators, which are a sort of shorthand for performing two operations in sequence -- 1) arithmetic between a variable operand on the left of the expression and some other value on the right, and then 2) the assigning of the result back to the original variable:

Operator Description Example Equivalent To
`+=` Add a value to a variable `x += 2` `x = x + 2`
`-=` Subtract a value from a variable `x -= 2` `x = x - 2`
`*=` Multiply a variable by a value `x *= 2` `x = x * 2`
`**=` Raise a variable to the power of a value (exponentiation) `x **= 2` `x = x ** 2`
`/=` Divide a variable by a value `x /= 2` `x = x / 2`
`//=` Divide a variable by a value, and round down (floor division) `x //= 2` `x = x // 2`
`%=` The remainder of dividing a variable by a value (modulo) `x %= 2` `x = x % 2`

Similarly, Python also has five bitwise assignment operators. These perform bitwise operations (the subject of a future article... ) between the left operand variable and a value on the right, assigning the result back to the variable:

Operator Description Example Equivalent To
`&=` Bitwise AND `x &= 2` `x = x & 2`
`|=` Bitwise OR `x |= 2` `x = x | 2`
`^=` Bitwise XOR `x ^= 2` `x = x ^ 2`
`>>=` Bitwise right shift `x >>= 2` `x = x >> 2`
`<<=` Bitwise left shift `x <<= 2` `x = x << 2`