Ternary Operator Python

As the Python community differentiates between the ternary operator and the if-else condition, the former is said to be a better way of writing conditional statements.

The reason behind using the ternary operator is simple, if-else condition blocks tend to be messy and thus it becomes really a tedious task to write a long series of such blocks for a simple condition.

This operator was added to Python in version 2.5. It simply replaces the multiline If-Else statement with a single line condition.

value_if_true if condition else value_if_false 

As you can see above Conditional expressions in python makes code more compact.

Here are different ways a Ternary operator python can be implemented as:

Simple method of using ternary operators:

Let’s see an example of a simple ternary operator method

print("x" if x>z else "z")

If we had to write the same code in an If and else statement it would have looked something like:


 if x>z:        

1. Using Python Tuples

Conditional Expressions can be used with tuples

a, b = 8, 10

 print( (b, a) [a < b] )

The above code works as the following syntax:

(if_test_is_false, if_test_is_true)[test] 

2. Using Python Dictionaries

Dictionaries are ordered collections of data values that can be changeable but do not allow duplicates. It stores data values in key: value pairs.

Here’s how you can use the ternary python operator with dictionaries in python:

a, b = 7, 10

 print({True: a, False: b} [a < b])

3. Using Lambdas

We can use Lambda functions to act as a ternary operator. Lamba function can be more efficient compared to tuples and dictionaries.

a, b = 5, 25

print((lambda: b, lambda: a)[a < b]())

Nested Python Ternary Operator

We can chain these operators as nested if-else:

a, b = 35, 20
 print ("Both a and b are equal" if a == b else "a is greater than b"
         if a > b else "b is greater than a")
a is greater than b

Above were some of the ways ternary operators in python works. This can be a easy way to test code in a compact rather than using If and else statements. Although both has its benefits, its on you to use the one which best suits the situation in the code.

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