Python In-Place Modulo Operator

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Python provides the operator x %= y to calculate the modulo operation x % y, and assign the result in-place to the first operands variable x. You can set up the in-place modulo behavior for your own class by overriding the magic “dunder” method __imod__(self, other) in your class definition.

>>> x = 9
>>> x %= 4
>>> x
1

The expression x %= y is syntactical sugar for the longer-form x = x % y:

>>> x = 9
>>> x = x % 4
>>> x
1

Let’s explore some examples on different data types of the operands.

Integer Example

The %= operator on integer operands stores the remainder of the division of both operands in the left-hand operands’ variable name.

>>> x = 42
>>> x %= 40
>>> x
2

Float Example

If at least one of the operands is a float value, the result is also a float—float is infectious!

>>> x = 42
>>> x %= 40.0
>>> x
2.0

Incompatible Data Type

What if two operands have an incompatible data type—unlike floats and integers? For example, if you try to calculate in-place modulo of two list variables?

>>> [1, 2] % [3, 4]
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#16>", line 1, in <module>
    [1, 2] % [3, 4]
TypeError: unsupported operand type(s) for %: 'list' and 'list'

The result of incompatible operation is a TypeError. You can fix it by using only compatible data types for the in-place modulo operation.

Can you use in-place modulo on custom objects? Yes!

Python In-Place Modulo Magic Method

To use the in-place modulo operator %= on custom objects, you need to define the __imod__() method (“dunder method”, “magic method”) that takes two arguments self and other, updates the first argument self with the remainder of the division, and returns the updated object.

In the following code, you use the in-place modulo on two Data objects by defining a custom __imod__() method:

class Data:

    def __init__(self, data):
        self.data = data

    def __imod__(self, other):
        self.data %= other.data
        return self

x = Data(40)
y = Data(11)

x %= y
print(x.data)
# 7

You can see that the content of the first operand is updated as a result of the in-place modulo operation.

Modulo Video Explanation [Background]

Related Article: Python Modulo Operator

Python In-Place Operators

In-place assignment operators (also called compound assignment operators) perform an operation in-place on a variable provided as first operand. They overwrite the value of the first operand variable with the result of the operation when performing the operator without assignment. For example, x += 3 is the same as x = x + 3 of first calculating the result of x +3 and then assigning it to the variable x.

OperatorNameShort ExampleEquivalent Long Example
=In-place Assignmentx = 3
+=In-place Additionx += 3x = x + 3
-=In-place Subtractionx -= 3x = x - 3
*=In-place Multiplicationx *= 3x = x * 3
/=In-place Divisionx /= 3x = x / 3
%=In-place Modulox %= 3x = x % 3
//=In-place Integer Divisionx //= 3x = x // 3
**=In-place Powerx **= 3x = x ** 3
&=In-place Bitwise Andx &= 3x = x & 3
|=In-place Bitwise Orx |= 3x = x | 3
^=In-place Bitwise XORx ^= 3x = x ^ 3
>>=In-place Bitwise Shift Rightx >>= 3x = x >> 3
<<=In-place Bitwise Shift Leftx <<= 5x = x << 5