Programming Fundamentals/Relational Operators

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Overview[edit]

A relational operator is a programming language construct or operator that tests or defines some kind of relation between two entities. These include numerical equality (e.g., 5 = 5) and inequalities (e.g., 4 ≥ 3).[1]

Discussion[edit]

Relational operators give a Boolean value (data type that has one of two possible values to represent the two truths of logic) by evaluating the relationship between two operands.

Operator symbols and/or names can vary with different programming languages. Most programming languages use relational operators similar to the following:

Operator Meaning
< less than
> greater than
<= less than or equal to
>= greater than or equal to
== equality (equal to)
!= or <> inequality (not equal to)

Examples:

  • 9 < 25
  • 9 < 3
  • 9 > 14
  • 9 <= 17
  • 9 >= 25
  • 9 == 13
  • 9 != 13
  • 9 !< 25
  • 9 <> 25

Note: Be careful. In math you are familiar with using the symbol = to mean equal and ≠ to mean not equal, but in many programming languages the ≠ is not used and the = symbol means assignment.

Key Terms[edit]

relational operator
An operator that gives a Boolean value by evaluating the relationship between two operands.

References[edit]