# Operators in programming languages - why are they needed and how do they work?

An operator in programming is a command that specifies a certain action to be performed on data.

An operator is a minimal autonomous element of a computer program. In fact, every utility is a sequence of just these operators. If you need a down-to-earth and natural analogy from everyday life, it is, for example, phrases or sentences that make up a text.

Read on, and we'll break down exactly how operators work. We will also explain their properties and necessity in modern programming.

## What are the operators exactly?

Operators are described by special, standardized, and generally accepted symbols. In fact, they contain the meaning of constructs. As for their visual appearance, it varies greatly depending on the programming language.

That is, so much so that the same operator can have a different execution and syntax in different languages.

But there are still complete systems. Thanks to them, this is the classification of operators - they are divided by:

- The number of accepted arguments.
- Peculiarities of the syntax and syntactic principle.
- Complexity.
- The type of action to be performed.

We will consider the last point in detail. It is the most important.

Operators are divided into assignment, arithmetic, logical, comparison and selection operators.

## Arithmetic

Arithmetic operators include anything that can be called a calculation in one way or another. These are addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, increment and decrement. They are represented by symbols such as "-", "+", "*", etc.

## Logical

Logical operators help establish relationships between different data and specify the conditions under which certain actions are performed.

Their semantics and syntax are based on formal logic. They have different names in different programming languages, not only symbolic but also literal. For example, preconditioned true/false. Otherwise they are denoted in the sense of "!", "&" and others.

## Relational

Comparison operators are often used in conjunction with logical operators to compare values. However, they are more like arithmetic operators.

They are denoted by the following symbols:

- ">"
- "<"
- ">="
- "<="

## Ternary

These are used to specify the branching of an algorithm. A typical example is "if" in C, which splits a program into two scenarios depending on whether the specified condition is met or not.

They are used universally.

## How to use operators?

Let's do a small task.

Imagine that your goal is to calculate how much money you will spend shopping in an online store, taking into account discounts and shipping costs.

So, your shopping cart contains $100 worth of items, the store offers a 10% discount on all purchases, and the shipping cost is $3.

You can use operators to calculate the total amount. For example, in Python, it would look like this:

- sum_purchases = 100
- discount = 0.1 # 10% off
- shipping_value = 3
- total_amount = sum_purchases - (sum_purchases * discount) + shipping_value
- print("Total amount due:", total_amount, "$")

The following elements have been used in this example:

- "-" - to subtract the discount amount from the total purchases.
- "*" - to calculate the discount amount.
- "+" - to add the shipping cost to the total amount.

This allows you to perform mathematical operations with data directly in the code, making it clear and easy to read. Instead of manually calculating each step, you can simply design a few lines that will perform all calculations quickly and accurately.

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