Python Comparison Operators

Summary: in this tutorial, you’ll learn about Python comparison operators and how to use them to compare two values.

Introduction to Python comparison operators

In programming, you often want to compare a value with another value. To do that, you use comparison operators.

Python has six comparison operators, which are as follows:

  • Less than ( < )
  • Less than or equal to (<=)
  • Greater than (>)
  • Greater than or equal to (>=)
  • Equal to ( == )
  • Not equal to ( != )

These comparison operators compare two values and return a boolean value, either True or False.

And you can use these comparison operators to compare both numbers and strings.

Less than operator (<)

The Less Than operator (<) compares two values and returns True if the value on the left is less than the value on the right. Otherwise, it returns False:

left_value < right_value
Code language: Python (python)

The following example uses the Less Than (<) operator to compare two numbers:

>>> 10 < 20 True >>> 30 < 20 False
Code language: Python (python)

It’s quite obvious when you use the less-than operator with the numbers.

The following example uses the less than operator (<) to compare two strings:

>>> 'apple' < 'orange' True >>> 'banana' < 'apple' False
Code language: Python (python)

The expression 'apple' < 'orange' returns True because the letter a in apple is before the letter o in orange.

Similarly, the 'banana' < 'apple' returns False because the letter 'b' is after the letter 'a'.

The following example shows how to use the less-than operator with variables:

>>> x = 10 >>> y = 20 >>> x < y True >>> y < x False
Code language: Python (python)

Less than or equal to operator (<=)

The less than or equal to operator compares two values and returns True if the left value is less than or equal to the right value. Otherwise, it returns False:

left_value <= right_value
Code language: Python (python)

The following example shows how to use the less than or equal to operator to compare two numbers:

>>> 20 <= 20 True >>> 10 <= 20 True >>> 30 <= 30 True
Code language: Python (python)

And this example shows how to use the less than or equal to operator to compare the values of two variables:

>>> x = 10 >>> y = 20 >>> x <= y True >>> y <= x False
Code language: Python (python)

Greater than operator (>)

The greater than operator (>) compares two values and returns True if the left value is greater than the right value. Otherwise, it returns False:

left_value > right_value
Code language: Python (python)

This example uses the greater than operator (>) to compare two numbers:

>>> 20 > 10 True >>> 20 > 20 False >>> 10 > 20 False
Code language: Python (python)

And the following example uses the greater than operator (>) to compare two strings:

>>> 'apple' > 'orange' False >>> 'orange' > 'apple' True
Code language: Python (python)

Greater Than or Equal To operator (>=)

The greater than or equal to operator (>=) compares two values and returns True if the left value is greater than or equal to the right value. Otherwise, it returns False:

left_value >= right_value
Code language: Python (python)

The following example uses the greater than or equal to operator to compare two numbers:

>>> 20 >= 10 True >>> 20 >= 20 True >>> 10 >= 20 False
Code language: Python (python)

And the following example uses the greater than or equal to operator to compare two strings:

>>> 'apple' >= 'apple' True >>> 'apple' >= 'orange' False >>> 'orange' >= 'apple' True
Code language: Python (python)

Equal To operator (==)

The equal to operator (==) compares two values and returns True if the left value is equal to the right value. Otherwise, it returns False :

left_value == right_value
Code language: Python (python)

The following example uses the equal to operator (==) to compare two numbers:

>>> 20 == 10 False >>> 20 == 20 True
Code language: Python (python)

And the following example uses the equal to operator (==) to compare two strings:

>>> 'apple' == 'apple' True >>> 'apple' == 'orange' False
Code language: Python (python)

Not Equal To operator (!=)

The not equal to operator (!=) compares two values and returns True if the left value isn’t equal to the right value. Otherwise, it returns False.

left_value != right_value
Code language: Python (python)

For example, the following uses the not equal to operator to compare two numbers:

>>> 20 != 20 False >>> 20 != 10 True
Code language: Python (python)

And the following example uses the not equal to operator to compare two strings:

>>> 'apple' != 'apple' False >>> 'apple' != 'orange' True
Code language: Python (python)

Summary

  • A comparison operator compares two values and returns a boolean value, either True or False.
  • Python has six comparison operators: less than (<), less than or equal to (<=), greater than (>), greater than or equal to (>=), equal to (==), and not equal to (!=).
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