Conditional statements form the bedrock of decision-making in programming. They allow programs to take different actions based on different conditions, thus introducing logic and flexibility into code.
if statement is the most straightforward conditional construct. It checks a condition and, if that condition is
True, it executes the code within its block.
if condition: # code to execute if condition is True
x = 5 if x > 3: print("x is greater than 3")
Often, we want to have an alternative action if our
if condition is not met. That’s where the
else clause comes in.
if condition: # code to execute if condition is True else: # code to execute if condition is False
x = 2 if x > 3: print("x is greater than 3") else: print("x is not greater than 3")
For scenarios with multiple conditions to check sequentially, Python offers the
elif statement, short for “else if”.
if condition1: # code to execute if condition1 is True elif condition2: # code to execute if condition2 is True else: # code to execute if none of the conditions are True
age = 16 if age < 13: print("Child") elif age < 18: print("Teenager") else: print("Adult")
You can embed
if statements within other
if statements to check for further conditions.
x = 10 if x > 5: if x < 15: print("x is a number between 5 and 15")
Python supports logical operators like
not, which can be used to combine multiple conditions.
x, y = 10, 5 if x > 5 and y < 10: print("Both conditions are True")
Python also supports one-liner conditional assignments known as ternary operations.
value_if_true if condition else value_if_false
x = 10 message = "Even" if x % 2 == 0 else "Odd" print(message) # Outputs: Even
Understanding and mastering conditional statements are fundamental in programming, as they form the primary mechanism for introducing logic into your programs. By combining these with loops and other control structures, one can craft intricate flows and behaviors, tailoring code to respond aptly to varying scenarios. As with all coding principles, practice is key, so be sure to experiment and test these concepts in various scenarios.