Python - Increment and Decrement Operators


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If you are familiar with other programming languages like C, Java, PHP then you know there exists two operators namely Increment and Decrement operators denoted by ++ and -- respectively.

There is no Increment and Decrement operators in Python.

This may look odd but in Python if we want to increment value of a variable by 1 we write += or x = x + 1 and to decrement the value by 1 we use -= or do x = x - 1.

Reasons for not having the operators

Some of the possible logical reasons for not having increment and decrement operators in Python are listed below.

  • Can achieve similar result using += and -=.
  • Including ++ and -- will result in the addition of some more opcode to the language which may result into slower VM engine.
  • Common use of ++ and -- is in loop and in Python for loop is generally written as for i in range(0, 10) thus removing the need for a ++ operator.

There are other reasons as well and you can Google them.

Example #1

Following is a simple PHP code using for loop to print from 1 to 10.

for ($i = 1; $i <= 10; $i++) {
  echo $i . " ";

The above code will print integer numbers from 1 to 10.

We can achieve the same result in Python using for loop.

for i in range(1, 11):

The above Python code will also print integer numbers from 1 to 10.

We will cover Python For Loop in the loop tutorials. And we will also talk more about the range() function.

Example #2

In the following C code we are printing integer numbers from 10 to 1 using for loop.

#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
  int i;
  for (i = 10; i >= 1; i--) {
    printf("%d ", i);
  return 0;

We can achieve the same result in Python by writing the following code.

for i in range(10, 0, -1):