iOS Swift Basics Swift Operators Unary Operators

Hai Huang
Hai Huang
12,675 Points

Why are the unary operators unary operators?

(Maybe the title is a little stupid..)

I completely understand the usages of the unary operators introduced in this video, but some of them seem to me binary operators.

Let's say for an example.

var a: Int = 1

a += 1 a -= 1

In the two lines above, both "+=" and "-=" seem to me binary operators because they connect two operands (a and 1) and are located in between as infix.

Well, the negating operator (var a: Bool = true; a = !a) is for me a unary operator because it only affects one operand (a).

1 Answer

Michael Hulet
Michael Hulet
Treehouse Moderator 47,742 Points

Your concept of unary and binary operators is correct. I don't know why the mathematical assignment operators were listed as unary operators in this video, because they're actually binary operators, as you suspected. There are only 3 unary operators in Swift by default:

  • The logical negation operator (!). This inverts a boolean expression, so !true is false, and !false is true
  • The mathematical negation operator (-). This makes a positive number negative, and a negative number positive (example: -42)
  • The unary plus operator (+). This simply returns its value as is. For example +42 is still just 42. This operator is entirely useless, but looks nice near a mathematical negation operator when you're choosing if you want something positive or negative