## What does the |= operator mean in Python?

*In this article we will learn what the |= operator means in Python, and also how we can use it in our software.*

What’s up programmer, ok? Let’s learn more about Python!

Usually when we have an operator next to =, it will execute a mathematical operation on some variable

For example:

x += y – adds the value of x to y;

x -= y – subtracts the value of y in x;

And we can represent this same operation explicitly:

x = x + y

x = x – y

So with the |, also called a pipe, it’s no different

But here we will have a binary operation being performed, that is, an operation performed bit by bit

And if we have an operation:

x |= y

It equates to:

x = x | and

That is, this operator is also known as OR

See this operation to fully understand:

a = 10 b = 12 print("{0:b}".format(a)) print("{0:b}".format(b)) a |= b print(a) print("{0:b}".format(14))

Here we have a a |= b, where a in binary is 1010 (10) and b in binary is (1100), adding this bit by bit we will have 1110 which is equivalent to 14

See also the output of the prints:

1010 1100 14 1110

That is, when we have a 1 and a 0, the 1 prevails, this causes the binary to change the value, consequently changing the value of the final result of the operation

**Conclusion**

In this article we learned how to use the |= operator in Python

Basically it’s a bitwise operation between left and right values

So if we have: a |= b, the operation performed will be: a = a | B

The forward slash “|” is also known as the OR operator.

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