Python Assignment and Bitwise Operators
Assigning means allocating values to variables. Assignment operators can perform various operations like arithmetic, logical and bitwise operations and then assign the computed value to a variable.
Sections Covered
What are Operands?
Before understanding assignment operators, let’s talk about Operands.
Operands are quantities or values on which an operation is being performed.
Let’s say you are adding 3 and 2. Here, addition is the operation and, 3 and 2 are the operands.
In this article, we will discuss various assignment operators and also a special operator introduced in Python 3.8  Walrus operator.
Operator  Description  Syntax 

+=  Add and assign  x += y 
=  Subtract and assign  x = y 
*=  Multiply and assign  x *= y 
/=  Divide and assign  x /= y 
%=  Take Modulus and assign  x %= y 
//=  Floor Divide and assign  x //= y 
**=  Take exponent and assign  x **= y 
&=  Perform bitwise “AND” operation and assign  x &= y 
=  Perform bitwise “OR” operation and assign  x = y 
^=  Perform bitwise “xOR” operation and assign  x ^= y 
>>=  Perform bitwise “Right Shift” operation and assign  x >>= y 
<<=  Perform bitwise “Left Shift” operation and assign  x <<= y 
Assignment Operators
+= operator  Add and assign
The +=
operator is used to adding 2 operands and assign the new value to the left operand.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x += y
print(x)
Output
5
= operator  Subtract and assign
The =
operator is used to subtracting 2 operands and assign the new value to the left operand.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x = y
print(x)
Output
1
*= operator  Multiply and assign
The *=
operator is used to multiplying 2 operands and assign the new value to the left operand.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x *= y
print(x)
Output
6
/= operator  Divide and assign
The /=
operator is used to performing division between 2 operands and assign the new value to the left operand.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x /= y
print(x)
Output
1.5
%= operator  Modulus and assign
The %=
operator is used to performing modulus operation on 2 operands and assign the new value to the left operand.
Modulus operation returns the remainder from dividing 2 operands.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x %= y
print(x)
Output
1
//= operator  Floor Divide and assign
The //=
operator is used to performing floor division on 2 operands and assign the new value to the left operand.
Floor division returns the quotient from dividing 2 operands.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x //= y
print(x)
Output
1
**= operator  Exponent and assign
The **=
operator is used to performing an exponential operation on 2 operands and assign the new value to the left operand.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x **= y
print(x)
Output
9
What are Bitwise operators?
Before moving onto Bitwise Assignment operators, let’s understand Bitwise operations.
In Python, bitwise operations are performed on integers. The integers are first converted into binary format and then operations are performed on every bit. The result is returned in decimal format.
Let’s learn how to convert an integer to binary format. The binary representation of 10 is 1010.
&= operator  Bitwise AND operation and assign
The &
operator returns True if both the operands are True. This is the AND operation. From the article on Booleans, it is clear that Python treats 1
as True and 0
as False.
So, the &=
operator performs the bitwise AND operation and assigns the new value to the left operand.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x &= y
print(x)
Output
2
Explanation
x = 3 > binary format = 0011
y = 2 > binary format = 0010
x & y = 0011
&
0010
= 0010
The decimal representation of 0010 is 2.
= operator  Bitwise OR operation and assign
The 
operator returns True if either of the operands is True. This is the OR operation. From the article on Booleans, it is clear that Python treats 1
as True and 0
as False.
So, the =
operator performs the bitwise OR operation and assigns the new value to the left operand.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x = y
print(x)
Output
3
Explanation
x = 3 > binary format = 0011
y = 2 > binary format = 0010
x & y = 0011

0010
= 0011
The decimal representation of 0011 is 3.
^= operator  Bitwise xOR operation and assign
The ^
operator returns True if one of the operands is True and the other is False, else it returns False. This is the xOR operation. From the article on Booleans, it is clear that Python treats 1
as True and 0
as False.
So, the ^=
operator performs the bitwise xOR operation and assigns the new value to the left operand.
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x ^= y
print(x)
Output
1
Explanation
x = 3 > binary format = 0011
y = 2 > binary format = 0010
x & y = 0011
^
0010
= 0001
The decimal representation of 0001 is 1.
>>= operator  Bitwise Right Shift operation and assign
When shifting right, the most significant bit is lost, and a 0
bit is inserted on the left side.
The right shift operator is written as >>
.
0011 >> 1 > 0001 (Moved right by one place)
0011 >> 2 > 0000 (Moved right by two places)
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x >>= y
print(x)
Output
0
Explanation
x = 3 > binary format = 0011
y = 2
x >> y = 0011 >> 2 (Move right by two places)
= 0000
The decimal representation of 0000 is 0.
<<= operator  Bitwise Left Shift operation and assign
When shifting left, the most significant bit is lost, and a 0
bit is inserted on the right side.
The left shift operator is written as <<
.
0011 << 1 > 0110 (Moved left by one place)
0011 << 2 > 1100 (Moved left by two places)
Code
x = 3
y = 2
x <<= y
print(x)
Output
12
Explanation
x = 3 > binary format = 0011
y = 2
x << y = 0011 << 2 (Move left by two places)
= 1100
The decimal representation of 1100 is 12.
Walrus Operator
The Walrus operator (:=) is a cool little feature that was introduced in Python 3.8.
It allows you to assign a value to a variable while also returning the value, without having to declare it before.
Example 1
Code  Without Walrus Operator
x = 3
print(x)
You can convert the above code into a oneliner by using the Walrus Operator.
Code  Using Walrus Operator
print(x:=3)
Output
3
Example 2
Code  Without Walrus Operator
list_of_names = []
name = input("Name a friend: ")
while name != "stop":
list_of_names.append(name)
name = input("Name a friend: ")
The above code asks the user for input and continues within the while
loop until we ask to stop
. It uses the Python builtin input() function. If you don’t know how to use it, check it out!
Using the Walrus operator, we can rewrite the above code the following way.
Code  Using Walrus Operator
list_of_names = []
while (name := input("Name a friend: ")) != "stop":
list_of_names.append(name)
Exercise
Calculate the results of the following Bitwise operations by hand and then verify your answers by running them in a Python interpreter.
1. 10&=4
2. 10^=4
3. 12=3
4. 10<<=3