How to Do Ternary Operator Assignment in Python

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In Brief...

The syntax for the ternary operator in Python is:

[on_true] if [expression] else [on_false]


Many programming languages, including Python, have a ternary conditional operator, which is most often used for conditional variable assignment. To illustrate, consider this code:

if game_type == 'home':
	shirt = 'white'
	shirt = 'green'

That's very clear, but it takes four lines of code to assign a value to game_type.

Here is how we would rewrite that using Python's ternary operator:

shirt = 'white' if game_type == 'home' else 'green'

It's still pretty clear, but much shorter. Note that the expression could be any type of expression, including a function call, that returns a value that evaluates to True or False.

Author: Nat Dunn

Nat Dunn founded Webucator in 2003 to combine his passion for web development with his business expertise and to help companies benefit from both.