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Oct 06, 2023 4 mins

Python Conditional Statements

Python Conditional Statements Python Conditional Statements

Python is known for its clear syntax and readability which makes it an excellent choice for beginners and experienced developers alike. One of the fundamental concepts in Python is conditional statements which allow the execution of code based on certain conditions. This article explores the Python conditional statements including `if`, `else`, and `elif` providing examples that help you understand how to use them in your coding projects.

Understanding Basic Conditional Statements in Python

Conditional statements are powerful tools that help programmers handle decisions in their code. These decisions guide the flow of execution depending on whether a condition is true or false. Understanding these statements is essential as they form the backbone of many programming tasks from simple decision-making to complex algorithm development.

The If Statement

The simplest form of a conditional statement is the if statement. It tests a condition and executes a block of code only if the condition is true. Here is a basic example.

x = 10
if x > 5:
    print("x is greater than 5")

This example checks if x is greater than 5, so the message “x is greater than 5” is printed. If x were less than or equal to 5, nothing would happen. This demonstrates the if statement’s role in branching the flow of execution based on a single condition.

Python Else and Elif

To handle different outcomes Python uses else and elif (short for “else if”) statements. These allow for more complex branches of execution based on multiple conditions. Consider this scenario.

y = 5
if y > 7:
    print("y is greater than 7")
elif y > 3:
    print("y is greater than 3 but not more than 7")
else:
    print("y is 3 or less")

The code sets a variable named “y” to 5. It then checks if “y” is greater than 7. “y” is not greater than 7 but is greater than 3, which means it is between 4 and 7, it prints “y is greater than 3 but not more than 7”. If neither condition is true it prints “y is 3 or less”.

Nested if Statements

You can use one if statement inside another if statement to create nested conditions.

x = 10
y = 5

if x > 5:
    if y > 2:
        print("Both conditions are True")
    else:
        print("x is greater than 5 but y is not greater than 2")
else:
    print("x is not greater than 5")

The code checks if x is greater than 5. If x is greater than 5, it checks if y is greater than 2. Since y is also greater than 2, the code prints “Both conditions are True”. If y had not been greater than 2, it would have printed “x is greater than 5 but y is not greater than 2”. If x had not been greater than 5, the code would have printed “x is not greater than 5”.

Ternary Conditional Operator

Python has a conditional expression that is a shorthand for if…else statement, known as the ternary operator.

x = 10
result = "x is greater than 5" if x > 5 else "x is 5 or less"
print(result)

Ternary expression checks if x is greater than 5 resulting in the string “x is greater than 5” being assigned to the variable result. This is followed by a print statement which outputs the value of result, “x is greater than 5”.

Conditional Operator with Loops

Conditional statements become particularly powerful when combined with loops. They can control the execution within loops based on dynamic conditions. Here’s an example using a while loop.

z = 0
while z < 5:
    z += 1
    if z == 3:
        print("z is 3")
    else:
        print("z is not 3")

This loop increments z from 0 to 5 and uses an if-else statement to print a message when z is 3, showing how loops can interact with conditions to perform tasks.

Boolean Operators

Boolean operators are expressions result in True or False. These expressions form the basis of all condition checks in Python and can include comparisons, logical operations, and even membership tests. You can also use boolean operators, and, or, and not to combine multiple conditions.

x = 10
y = 5

if x > 5 and y < 10:
    print("Both conditions are True")

if x > 5 or y > 10:
    print("At least one condition is True")

if not x == 10:
    print("x is not 10")

The code checks two conditions, if x is greater than 5 and y is less than 10, which are both true, it prints “Both conditions are True”. Next, it checks if either x is greater than 5 or y is greater than 10. Since x is greater than 5, it prints “At least one condition is True”. Finally, it checks if x is not equal to 10, which is false, so nothing is printed for this condition.

Conclusion

Learning Python’s conditional statements is a crucial step for any programmer who loves Python. They allow your programs to make decisions and react differently under varying conditions.

FAQ

Q: What is the best way to learn conditional statements in Python?
A: Practice by writing small programs that use different types of conditional statements. Begin with simple conditions and gradually add complexity.

Q: Can elif be used without an else statement?
A: Yes, elif can be used without else. Else is optional and only needed if you want to handle cases where all other conditions are false.

Q: How many elif statements can I use in Python?
A: You can use as many elif statements as you need. Python does not limit the number of elif blocks in a conditional structure.


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