The Python equal to (`left==right`

) operator returns `True`

when its `left`

operand is equal to its `right`

operand. Otherwise, it returns `False`

. For example, `3==3`

evaluates to `True`

, but `3==2`

evaluates to `False`

.

Table of Contents

## Examples

Let’s explore a couple of examples regarding the *equal to* operator.

Is 3 equal to 2?

>>> 3 == 2 False

What about `'h'`

equal to `'h'`

?

>>> 'h' == 'h' True

Can you compare collections such as lists, strings, tuples?

>>> [1, 2] == [1, 2] True >>> [1, 2] == [1, 2, 3] False >>> (1, 1) == (1, 1, 1) False >>> 'hello' == 'hello' True

Yes!

The list *equal to* operator iterates over the lists and checks pairwise if the i-th element of the left operand is equal to the i-th element of the right operand.

Can you use the *equal to* operator on custom objects? Yes!

## Python Equal to on Custom Objects

To use the* equal to* operator on custom objects, you need to define the `__eq__()`

“dunder” *magic method *that takes two arguments: `self`

and `other`

. You can then use attributes of the custom objects to determine if one is equal to the other. It should return a Boolean `True`

or `False`

.

In the following code, you check if a Person is equal to another Person by using the `age`

attribute as a decision criterion:

class Person: def __init__(self, age): self.age = age def __eq__(self, other): return self.age == other.age alice = Person(18) bob = Person(19) carl = Person(18) print(alice == bob) # False print(alice == carl) # True

Because Alice is 18 years old and Bob is 19 years old, the result of `alice == bob`

is `False`

. But the result of `alice == carl`

evaluates to `True`

as both have the same age.

## Python Equal to Multiple Values

**How do you check if a value is equal to multiple values?**

To check if a finite number of values are equal, you can chain the comparison operator `==`

multiple times. For example, the expression `x == y == z`

evaluates to `True`

if all three are equal. This is a shorthand expression for `(x == y) and (y == z)`

.

In the following example, you create three variables that all get assigned the same value 42. When checking them using `x == y == z`

, the result is `True`

.

>>> x = 43 - 1 >>> y = 42 >>> z = 21 + 21 >>> x == y == z True

## Python Equal to A or B

To check if value `x`

is equal to either `a`

or `b`

or both, you can use the expression `x in {a, b}`

.

- By putting the values into a set
`{a, b}`

, you can essentially perform aoperation on equality testing.*logical or* - You check membership by using the keyword
`in`

. This checks in a performant way (constant runtime complexity!) whether value x exists in the set, i.e., the equality operator evaluates to`True`

.

Here’s a minimal example where we create a value `x`

and check if it is equal to `a`

or `b`

by putting both into a set and checking membership:

>>> x = 42 >>> a = 21 + 21 >>> b = 43 * 2 >>> x in {a, b} True

The value 42 exists in the set—`x`

is equal to `a`

in the example. So the result is `True`

.

## Python Equal to OR

To check if value `x`

is equal to multiple values, i.e., performing a ** logical or** operation on equality testing, you can put all values to test against in a set

`S`

. Then, check **x in S**

to test if any value `y`

in the set `S`

is equal to variable `x`

. Here’s a minimal example where we perform a logical or on `x == y`

for all values `y`

by converting the list of values into a set for efficiency reasons. Checking membership using the `in`

keyword is more efficient on sets than on lists.

>>> lst = ['alice', 42, 'finxter', 21, 333, None] >>> x = 'finx' + 'ter' >>> x in set(lst) True

The string value `'finxter`

‘ exists in the set `{'alice', 42, 'finxter', 21, 333, None}`

, so the result is `True`

.

## Python Equal to NaN

To check whether a number `x`

is equal to NaN, use the `math.isnan(x)`

method that returns `True`

if the number `x`

is NaN, and `False`

otherwise.

The following code shows an example where we first create a NaN float value using the `float('nan')`

built-in method, and then checking that number using `math.isnan(x)`

. The result is `True`

.

import math x = float('nan') print(math.isnan(x)) # True

## Comparison Operators

Comparison operators are applied to comparable objects and they return a Boolean value (`True`

or `False`

).

Operator | Name | Description | Example |
---|---|---|---|

> | Greater Than | Returns `True` if the left operand is greater than the right operand | `3 > 2 == True` |

< | Less Than | Returns `True` if the left operand is smaller than the right operand | `3 < 2 == False` |

== | Equal To | Returns `True` if the left operand is the same as the right operand | `(3 == 2) == False` |

!= | Not Equal To | Returns `True` if the left operand is not the same as the right operand | `(3 != 2) == True` |

>= | Greater Than or Equal To | Returns `True` if the left operand is greater than or equal to the right operand | `(3 >= 3) == True` |

<= | Less Than or Equal To | Returns `True` if the left operand is less than or equal to the right operand | `(3 <= 2) == False` |

While working as a researcher in distributed systems, Dr. Christian Mayer found his love for teaching computer science students.

To help students reach higher levels of Python success, he founded the programming education website Finxter.com. He’s author of the popular programming book Python One-Liners (NoStarch 2020), coauthor of the Coffee Break Python series of self-published books, computer science enthusiast, freelancer, and owner of one of the top 10 largest Python blogs worldwide.

His passions are writing, reading, and coding. But his greatest passion is to serve aspiring coders through Finxter and help them to boost their skills. You can join his free email academy here.