5.3. Arithmetic Operators
explained operator precedence, associativity, and other background
material, we can start to discuss the operators themselves. This
section details the arithmetic operators:
- Addition (+)
+ operator adds numeric operands or concatenates
string operands. If one operand is a string, the other is converted
to a string and the two strings are then concatenated. Object
operands are converted to numbers or strings that can be added or
concatenated. The conversion is performed by the valueOf(
) method and/or the toString(
) method of the object.
- Subtraction (-)
When - is used as
a binary operator, it subtracts its second operand from its first
operand. If used with non-numeric operands, it attempts to convert
them to numbers.
- Multiplication (*)
The * operator
multiplies its two operands. If used with non-numeric operands, it
attempts to convert them to numbers.
- Division (/)
The / operator
divides its first operand by its second. If used with non-numeric
operands, it attempts to convert them to numbers. If you are used to
programming languages that distinguish between integer and
floating-point numbers, you might expect to get an integer result
numbers are floating-point, so all divisions have floating-point
results: 5/2 evaluates to 2.5,
not 2. Division by zero yields
positive or negative infinity, while
0/0 evaluates to NaN.
- Modulo (%)
The % operator
computes the first operand modulo the second operand. That is, it
returns the remainder when the first operand is divided by the second
operand an integral number of times. If used with non-numeric
operands, the modulo operator attempts to convert them to numbers.
The sign of the result is the same as the sign of the first operand.
For example, 5 %
2 evaluates to 1.
While the modulo operator is typically used with integer operands, it
also works for floating-point values. For example, -4.3 %
2.1 evaluates to -0.1.
- Unary minus (-)
When - is used
as a unary operator, before a single operand, it performs unary
negation. In other words, it converts a positive value to an
equivalently negative value, and vice versa. If the operand is not a
number, this operator attempts to convert it to one.
- Unary plus (+)
For symmetry with the unary
plus operator. This operator allows you to explicitly specify the
sign of numeric literals, if you feel that this will make your code
var profit = +1000000;
In code like this, the + operator does nothing; it
simply evaluates to the value of its argument. Note, however, that
for non-numeric arguments, the + operator has the
effect of converting the argument to a number. It returns
NaN if the argument cannot be converted.
- Increment (++)
The ++ operator
increments (i.e., adds 1 to) its single operand, which must be a
variable, an element of an array, or a property of an object. If the
value of this variable, element, or property is not a number, the
operator first attempts to convert it to one. The precise behavior of
this operator depends on its position relative to the operand. When
used before the operand, where it is known as the
pre-increment operator, it increments
the operand and evaluates to the incremented value of that operand.
When used after the operand, where it is known as the post-increment
operator, it increments its operand but evaluates to the
unincremented value of that operand. If the
value to be incremented is not a number, it is converted to one by
For example, the following code sets both i and
j to 2:
i = 1;
j = ++i;
But these lines set i to 2 and
j to 1:
i = 1;
j = i++;
This operator, in both of its forms, is most commonly used to
counter that controls a loop. Note
you may not insert a line break between the post-increment or
post-decrement operator and the operand
a complete statement by itself and will insert a semicolon before it.
- Decrement (--)
operator decrements (i.e., subtracts
1 from) its single numeric operand, which must be a variable, an
element of an array, or a property of an object. If the value of this
variable, element, or property is not a number, the operator first
attempts to convert it to one. Like the ++
operator, the precise behavior of -- depends on
its position relative to the operand. When used before the operand,
it decrements and returns the decremented value. When used after the
operand, it decrements the operand but returns the
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