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Operators and Operands

 

Fundamental C# Operators

 

Introduction

An operation is an action performed on one or more values either to modify the value held by one or both of the variables, or to produce a new value by combining existing values. Therefore, an operation is performed using at least one symbol and at least one value. The symbol used in an operation is called an operator. A value involved in an operation is called an operand.

A unary operator is an operator that performs its operation on only one operand. An operator is referred to as binary if it operates on two operands.

Semi-Colon;

The semi-colon is used to indicate the end of an expression or a declaration. Here is an example:

var sentence : String;

As we will learn when studying the for conditional statement, there are other uses of the semi-colon.

 

Curly Brackets { }

Curly brackets are probably the most used and the most tolerant operators of C#. Fundamentally, curly brackets are used to create a section of code. As such they are required to delimit the bodies of namespaces, classes, structures, exceptions, etc. They are also optionally used in conditional statements. Curly brackets are also used to create variable scope.

Parentheses ( )

Like most computer languages, C# uses parentheses to isolate a group of items that must be considered as belonging to one entity. For example, parentheses are used to differentiate a method such as Main from a regular variable.

Parentheses can also be used to isolate an operation or an expression with regard to another operation or expression.

 

The Comma ,

The comma is used to separate variables used in a group.

The Assignment =

When you declare a variable, a memory space is reserved for it. That memory space may be empty until you fill it with a value. To "put" a value in the memory space allocated to a variable, you can use the assignment operator represented as =. Based on this, the assignment operation gives a value to a variable. Its syntax is:

VariableName = Value

The VariableName factor must be a valid variable name. It cannot be a value such as a numeric value or a (double-quoted) string. Here is an example that assigns a numeric value to a variable:

var salary : double;

// Using the assignment operator
salary = 12.55;

Once a variable has been declared and assigned a value, you can call print() to display its value.  Here is an example:

var salary : double;

// Using the assignment operator
salary = 12.55;

print("Employee's Hourly Salary: ");
print(salary);

This would produce:

Employee's Hourly Salary: $12.55

The above code declares a variable before assigning it a value. You will usually perform this assignment when you want to change the value held by a variable. Providing a starting value to a variable when the variable is declared is referred to as initializing the variable. Here is an example:

var salary : double = 12.55;

// Using the assignment operator

print("Employee's Hourly Salary: ");
print(salary);

We saw that you can declare various variables at once by using the same data type but separating their names with commas. When doing this, you can also initialize each variable by assigning it the desired value before the comma or the semi-colon. Here is an example:

var Value1, Value2 : double;
Value1 = 224.58;
Value2 = 1548.26;
			
print("Value 1 = ");
print(Value1);
print("Value 2 = ");
print(Value2);

This would produce:

Value 1 =
224.58
Value 2 =
1548.26
 

Single-Quote '

The single quote is used to include one character to initialize, or assign a symbol to, a variable declared as char. A single is usually combined with another and a character is included between them. Here is an example:

var Gender : char;
var FirstName, LastName, FullName : String ;

Gender = 'M';

print(Gender);

You can include only one character between single-quotes except if the combination of symbols can be evaluated to one character. This is the case for escape sequences. Here is an example:

print('\n');

Double-Quotes "

The double-quote " is used to delimit a string. Like the single-quote, the double-quote is usually combined with another. Between the combination of double-quotes, you can include an empty space, a character, a word, or a group of words, making it a string. Here is an example:

print("The Wonderful World of JScript.NET!!!");

A double-quoted string can also be declared and then assigned to a variable.

 

Square Brackets [ ]

Square brackets are mostly used to control the dimension or index of an array. We will learn how to use them when we study arrays. Here is an example from a future lesson:

var number : double[] = new double[5];

number[0] = 12.44;
number[1] = 525.38;
number[2] = 6.28;
number[3] = 2448.32;
number[4] = 632.04;

The Positive Operator +

Algebra uses a type of ruler to classify numbers. This ruler has a middle position of zero. The numbers on the left side of the 0 are referred to as negative while the numbers on the right side of the rulers are considered positive:

-∞   -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1   1 2 3 4 5 6   +∞
   0
-∞   -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1   1 2 3 4 5 6   +∞

A value on the right side of 0 is considered positive. To express that a number is positive, you can write a + sign on its left. Examples are +4, +228, +90335. In this case the + symbol is called a unary operator because it acts on only one operand. The positive unary operator, when used, must be positioned on the left side of its operand, never on the right side.

As a mathematical convention, when a value is positive, you don't need to express it with the + operator. Just writing the number without any symbol signifies that the number is positive. Therefore, the numbers +4, +228, and +90335 can be, and are better, expressed as 4, 228, 90335. Because the value doesn't display a sign, it is referred as unsigned.

To express a variable as positive or unsigned, you can just type it. here is an example:

print(+802);

This would produce:

Number = 802

The Negative Operator -

As you can see on the above ruler, in order to express any number on the left side of 0, it must be appended with a sign, namely the - symbol. Examples are -12, -448, -32706. A value accompanied by - is referred to as negative. The - sign must be typed on the left side of the number it is used to negate. Remember that if a number does not have a sign, it is considered positive. Therefore, whenever a number is negative, it MUST have a - sign. In the same way, if you want to change a value from positive to negative, you can just add a - sign to its left.

Here is an example that uses two variables. One has a positive value while the other has a negative value:

print(-802);

This would produce:

-802
 

Algebraic Operators

In algebra, operations are performed on numeric values. Algebraic operators are represented with the following symbols:

Operations
 

The Addition

The addition is an operation used to add things of the same nature one to another, as many as necessary. Sometimes, the items are added one group to another. The concept is still the same, except that this last example is faster. The addition is performed in mathematics using the + sign. The same sign is used in C#.

To get the addition of two values, you add the first one to the other. After the addition of two values has been performed, you get a new value. This means that if you add Value1 to Value2, you would write Value1 + Value2. The result is another value we could call Value3. You can also add more than two values, like a + b + c.

With numbers, the order you use to add two or more values doesn't matter. This means that Value1 + Value2 is the same as Value2 + Value1. In the same way a + b + c is the same as a + c + b the same as b + a + c and the same as c + b + a

Here is an example that adds two numbers:

print("244 + 835 = ");
print(244 + 835);

Here is the result:

244 + 835 = 
1079

You can also add some values already declared and initialized in your program. You can also get the values from the user.

In C#, you can also add string variables to add a new string. The operation is performed as if you were using numbers. For example, "Pie" + "Chart" would produce "PieChart". You can also add add as many strings as possible by including the + operator between them. Here is an example:

var FirstName : String;
var LastName  : String;
var FullName  : String;

FirstName = "Alexander";
LastName  = "Kallack";
FullName  = FirstName + " " + LastName;

print(FullName);

This would produce:

Alexander Kallack
 

The Multiplication

The multiplication allows adding one value to itself a certain number of times, set by a second value. As an example, instead of adding a value to itself in this manner: A + A + A + A, since the variable a is repeated over and over again, you could simply find out how many times A is added to itself, then multiply a by that number which, is this case, is 4. This would mean adding a to itself 4 times, and you would get the same result.

Just like the addition, the multiplication is associative: a * b * c = c * b * a. When it comes to programming syntax, the rules we learned with the addition operation also apply to the multiplication.

Here is an example:

var value1 : double;
var value2 : double;
var result : double;

value1 = 224.58;
value2 = 1548.26;
result = value1 * value2;

print(value1 + " * " + value2 + " = " + result);

This would produce:

224.58 * 1548.26 = 347708.2308
 

The Subtraction

The subtraction operation is used to take out or subtract a value from another value. It is essentially the opposite of the addition. The subtraction is performed with the - sign.

Here is an example:

var value1 : double;
var value2 : double;
var result : double;

value1 = 224.58;
value2 = 1548.26;
result = value1 - value2;

print(value1 + " * " + value2 + " = " + result);

This would produce:

224.58 - 1548.26 = -1323.68

Unlike the addition, the subtraction is not associative. In other words, a - b - c is not the same as c - b - a. Consider the following program that illustrates this:

// This tests whether the addition is associative
print(" =+= Addition =+=");
print("128 + 42 +   5 = " + (128 + 42 + 5));
print("  5 + 42 + 128 = " + (5 + 42 + 128));

print();

// This tests whether the subtraction is associative
print(" =-= Subtraction =-=");
print("128 - 42 -   5 = " + (128 - 42 - 5));
print("  5 - 42 - 128 = " + (5 - 42 - 128));

This would produce:

=+= Addition =+=
128 + 42 +   5 = 175
  5 + 42 + 128 = 175

 =-= Subtraction =-=
128 - 42 -   5 = 81
  5 - 42 - 128 = -165

Notice that both operations of the addition convey the same result. In the subtraction section, the numbers follow the same order but produce different results.

The Division

Dividing an item means cutting it in pieces or fractions of a set value. For example, when you cut an apple in the middle, you are dividing it in 2 pieces. If you cut each one of the resulting pieces, you will get 4 pieces or fractions. This is considered that you have divided the apple in 4 parts. Therefore, the division is used to get the fraction of one number in terms of another. The division is performed with the forward slash /.

Here is an example:

var value1 : double;
var value2 : double;
var result : double;

value1 = 224.58;
value2 = 1548.26;
result = value1 / value2;

print(value1 + " * " + value2 + " = " + result);

This would produce:

224.58 / 1548.26 = 0.145053156446592

When performing the division, be aware of its many rules. Never divide by zero (0). Make sure that you know the relationship(s) between the numbers involved in the operation.

 

The Remainder

The division program above will give you a result of a number with decimal values if you type an odd number (like 147), which is fine in some circumstances. Sometimes you will want to get the value remaining after a division renders a natural result. Imagine you have 26 kids at a football (soccer) stadium and they are about to start. You know that you need 11 kids for each team to start. If the game starts with the right amount of players, how many will seat and wait?

The remainder operation is performed with the percent sign (%) which is gotten from pressing Shift + 5.

Here is an example:

var Players : int = 26;

// When the game starts, how many players will wait?.
print("Out of " + Players + " players, " + (26 % 11) + " players will have to wait 
when the game starts.\n");

This would produce:

Out of 26 players, 4 players will have to wait when the game starts.

JScript.NET Language Operators

 

Increment ++

Introduction

We are used to counting numbers such as 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. In reality, when counting such numbers, we are simply adding 1 to a number in order to get the next number in the range. The simplest technique of incrementing a value consists of adding 1 to it. After adding 1, the value or the variable is (permanently) modified and the variable would hold the new value. This is illustrated in the following example:

var value : int = 12;

print("Techniques of incrementing a value");
print("Value = " + value); 

value = value + 1;

print("Value = " + value); 

This would produce:

Techniques of incrementing a value
Value = 12
Value = 13

JScript.NET provides a special operator that takes care of this operation. The operator is called the increment operator and is represented by ++. Instead of writing Value = Value + 1, you can write Value++ and you would get the same result. The above program can be re-written as follows:

var value : int = 12;

print("Techniques of incrementing a value");
print("Value = " + value); 

value++;

print("Value = " + value); 

The ++ is a unary operator because it operates on only one variable. It is used to modify the value of the variable by adding 1 to it. Every time the Value++ is executed, the compiler takes the previous value of the variable, adds 1 to it, and the variable holds the incremented value:

var value : int = 12;

print("Techniques of incrementing a value");

value++;
print("Value = " + value); 

value++;
print("Value = " + value);
		
value++;
print("Value = " + value);

This would produce:

Techniques of incrementing a value
Value = 13
Value = 14
Value = 15
 

Pre and Post-Increment

When using the ++ operator, the position of the operator with regard to the variable it is modifying can be significant. To increment the value of the variable before re-using it, you should position the operator on the left of the variable:

var value : int = 12;

print("Techniques of incrementing a value");

print("Value = " + value); 

print("Value = " + ++value);
		
print("Value = " + value);

This would produce:

Techniques of incrementing a value
Value = 12
Value = 13
Value = 13

When writing ++Value, the value of the variable is incremented before being called. On the other hand, if you want to first use a variable, then increment it, in other words, if you want to increment the variable after calling it, position the increment operator on the right side of the variable:

var value : int = 12;

print("Techniques of incrementing a value");

print("Value = " + value); 

print("Value = " + ++value);
		
print("Value = " + value);

This would produce:

Techniques of incrementing a value
Value = 12
Value = 12
Value = 13

Decrement --

Introduction

When counting numbers backward, such as 8, 7, 6, 5, etc, we are in fact subtracting 1 from a value in order to get the lesser value. This operation is referred to as decrementing a value. This operation works as if a value is decremented by 1, as in Value = Value 1:

var value : int = 12;

print("Techniques of decrementing a value");
print("Value = " + value); 

value = value - 1;

print("Value = " + value); 

This would produce:

Techniques of decrementing a value
Value = 12
Value = 11

As done to increment, C# provides a quicker way of subtracting 1 from a value. This is done using the decrement operator, that is --. To use the decrement operator, type - on the left or the right side of the variable when this operation is desired. Using the decrement operator, the above program could be written:

var value : int = 12;

print("Techniques of decrementing a value");
print("Value = " + value); 

value--;

print("Value = " + value); 

Pre-Decrement

Once again, the position of the operator can be important. If you want to decrement the variable before calling it, position the decrement operator on the left side of the operand. This is illustrated in the following program:

var value : int = 12;

print("Techniques of decrementing a value");
print("Value = " + value); 

print("Value = " + --value);
		
print("Value = " + value);

This would produce:

Techniques of decrementing a value
Value = 12
Value = 11
Value = 11

If you plan to decrement a variable only after it has been accessed, position the operator on the right side of the variable. Here is an example:

var value : int = 12;

print("Techniques of decrementing a value");
print("Value = " + value); 

print("Value = " + value--);
		
print("Value = " + value);

This would produce:

Techniques of decrementing a value
Value = 12
Value = 12
Value = 11

Techniques of Incrementing and Decrementing a Variable

It is not unusual to add or subtract a constant value to or from a variable. All you have to do is to declare another variable that would hold the new value. Here is an example:

var value : double = 12.75;
var newValue : double;

print("Techniques of incrementing and decrementing a value");
print("Value = " + value);

newValue = value + 2.42;
		
print("Value = " + newValue); 

This would produce:

Techniques of incrementing and decrementing a value
Value = 12.75
Value = 15.17

The above technique requires that you use an extra variable in your application. The advantage is that each value can hold its own value although the value of the second variable depends on whatever would happen to the original or source variable.

Sometimes in your program you will not need to keep the original value of the source variable. You may want to permanently modify the value that a variable is holding. In this case you can perform the addition operation directly on the variable by adding the desired value to the variable. This operation modifies whatever value a variable is holding and does not need an additional variable.

To add a value to a variable and change the value that the variable is holding, you can combine the assignment = and the addition + operators to produce a new operator as +=

Here is an example:

var value : double = 12.75;

print("Techniques of incrementing and decrementing a value");
print("Value = " + value);

value += 2.42;
		
print("Value = " + value); 

This program produces the same result as the previous. To decrement the value of a variable, instead of the addition, use the subtraction and apply the same technique. In the above program, the variable can have its value decremented by combining the assignment and the subtraction operations on the variable. This is done with the -= operator. Here is an example:

var value : double = 12.75;

print("Techniques of incrementing and decrementing a value");
print("Value = " + value);

value -= 2.42;
		
print("Value = " + value); 

This would produce:

Techniques of incrementing and decrementing a value
Value = 12.75
Value = 10.33

Operator Precedence and Direction

When combining operations in C#, there are two aspects involved: an operator's precedence and its direction. If you ask the compiler to add two numbers, for example 240 + 65, it will execute the operation by adding 240 to 65. In other words, it would read 240, then +, then 65, and evaluate the result. This is considered as operating from left to right: 240 -> + -> 65. This process is referred to as the direction of the operation.

As you will regularly combine operators on your various calculations, each operation is known for how much it "weighs" as compared to other operators. This is known as its precedence. This means that when a certain operator is combined with another, such as a + b * c, or x / y - z, some operators would execute before others, almost regardless of how you write the operation. That's why an operator could be categorized by its level of precedence.

One way you can avoid being concerned by the level of precedence of operator is by using parentheses to tell the compiler how to proceed with the operations, that is, what operation should (must) be performed first. Consider the following algebraic operation:

154 - 12 + 8

The question here is to know whether you want to subtract the addition of 12 and 8 from 154 or you want to add the difference between 154 and 12 to 8. Using parentheses, you can communicate your intentions to the compiler. This is illustrated in the following program:

var Operation1 : int;
var Operation2 : int;

Operation1 = (154 - 12) + 8;
Operation2 = 154 - (12 + 8);

print("Examining the effect of the parentheses in an operation");
print("(154 - 12) + 8  = " + Operation1);
print(" 154 - (12 + 8) = " + Operation2);

This would produce:

Examining the effect of the parentheses in an operation
(154 - 12) + 8 = 150
154 - (12 + 8) = 134

As you can see, using the parentheses controls how the whole operation would proceed. This difference can be even more accentuated if your operation includes 3 or more operators and 4 or more operands.

 

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