What Is ++ In Java?

Java doesn’t just refer to a hot cup of coffee, it’s the name of a programming language.

It’s a general-purpose programming language, that allows programmers to write the code and run it from anywhere, without having to worry about the computer architecture. 

Java is so versatile that it has been used to program Nasa software, all the way to Minecraft, and even Amazon. 

Java is often confused with JavaScript, and while they are similar and do crossover sometimes, they are two very different programming languages.

What Is ++ In Java

Java is the multi-purpose OOP programming language, whereas JavaScript is a programming script.

JavaScript code only needs to be interpreted and written in text, while Java has to be compiled. Java takes a lot more effort, but it can do a lot more. 

Java has lots of different symbols and semantics that are used to represent, affect, and create variables, lines of code, and put create a whole new software from scratch.

These are called operators. The ++ symbol is an operator. But what exactly does it mean and what do Java operators do?

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Java Operators

In Java, an operator is a special symbol that results in the performance of a specific function, or operation if you will. There are different types of operators in Java, they are as follows;

Arithmetic operators- Arithmetic operators perform mathematical operations. The ++ operator is an arithmetic operator. 

Assignment operators- Assignment operators assign values to variables. 

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Comparison Operators- Comparison operators compare two values against each other.

Logical Operators- Logical operators determine the logic between values and variables. It will return a TRUE or False statement when determining the logic of the variables. 

Bitwise Operators- Bitwise operators work on decimal numbers or the binary equivalent.

They perform the operations bit by bit, hence the name. It converts the operands into their binary forms and then performs its functions. 

These operators all work together when coded correctly to create software and programs.

++ Operator

In Java, the ++ operator represents increment. This means it represents increasing a variable’s value by 1. The equation for this ++(a), where a should be substituted for the value. 

Here is a complete list of the Java arithmetic operators;

Operator Symbol & NameMeaning & Formula
+AdditionAddition of two values (A)+(B)
-SubtractionSubtraction of one value from another(A)-(B)
*MultiplicationMultiplication of two values(A)*(B)
/DivisionDivision of one value by another value/ (B)
%ModulusReturns the remainder in division% (B)
++Increment Increases the value of a variable in increments of 1++(A)
–Decrement Decreases the value of variables in increments of 1–(B)

Prefix vs. Postfix Operators

Operators can be used in two positions. Either as a prefix or postfix when they are placed.

Prefix operators are places before the variables, and postfix operators are placed after the variable. The position of an operator will change the function it performs. 

When using ++ as a prefix, like this ++(A), the value of the variable is increased in increments of 1, and then returned. 

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When using ++ as a postfix, like this (A)++, first the original value of the variable is returned, and then it is increased in increments of 1. 

Therefore placing the operator as a prefix will apply the operator before the expression is evaluated, applying it as a postfix will evaluate the expression first and then apply the operator. 

Unary Operators In Java

In Java, operators tend to depend on multiple variables or operands to complete an evaluation or function.

However, there are such things as unary operators. A unary operator will only need one operands in order to complete an operation. 

The ++ operator is a unary operator. This means it only needs one operand or variable in order to complete its function, which is to increase the operand in increments of 1. 

Things You Should Know About The ++ Operator

As well as what the ++ operator is used for, you should also be aware of these facts as they can help you in your coding. 

The Increment operator ++ can only be applied to variables. That means it will only really work with non-constant values, rather than constant values.

If you try to apply the increment operator to a constant value then it will result in a compile-time error… 

Nesting of the increment operator is not allowed and will result in an error. Nesting is when one class is defined by another class, this will not work for the increment operator. 

The increment operator cannot be applied to boolean. Boolean is a primitive data type. In Java, it returns two values.

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Either true or false. This can be a bit annoying as the increment operator can be applied to most primitive data types.

However not with boolean. This is because boolean is designed to return ‘true’ or ‘false’ values, instead of increasing values. 

The increment operator cannot be applied to final variables. This is because the value of a final variable is exactly that, final.

It’s not meant to change. Applying the increment operator will change the value and result in the computer saying no. 

Doing any of these may result in an error message being returned and generally just ruining your day. 

Increment Operator ( ++) Final Thoughts…

The purpose of the increment operator(++)  is to increase a variable by 1. Essentially it increases the variable in small increments.

By doing it in small increments, it gives a lot of leeway for variable experimentation in your code. 

Using the increment operator as a prefix or postfix will affect the way the function is performed.

When used as a prefix, the increment operator performs its function and then returns the variable.

When used as a postfix the variable is returned first and then thew function is performed. 

The increment operator can only be applied to variables and not contestants. Nor will nesting the increment function work.

As it is used to increase variables, it will not work with boolean. And lastly, the increment operator cannot be applied to any final variables, as these can’t be changed.

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