JavaScript Lesson 4: Operators


What are Operators

JavaScript Operators are similar to operators in other programming languages. Operators are a symbol, or group of symbols, that are used to perform an operation. For example, some of the operators are used to perform arithmetic operations (addition, subtractions, etc.) on numerical values, variables, or a combination of them both. This lesson will cover the most useful operators we will be using throughout the lesson.

Arithmetic Operators

Arithmetic Operators are the most common of the JavaScript operators. Below is a table containing operators to conduct basic mathematics.

Operator Operation Example
+ Addition 1 + 1
Subtraction 2 – 1
* Multiplication 1 * 5
/ Division 20 / 4
% Modulus 9 % 5

Of these operators, the one that may stand out to you is the Modulus operator. The Modulus operator divides the first value by the second value and the returns the integer remainder. So in the above example where 9 % 5 the return value would be 4.

Assignment Operators

In the previous section we talked about return values, because after you perform a mathematical equation you get an answer! So this answer can be assigned to a variable. To do so you will use an assignment operator. Below we have a list of assignment operators and a description of what they do.

Operator Example Description
= x = 3 x’s value is set to 3
+= x += 5 x’s current value plus 5
-= x -= 2 x’s current value minus 2
*= x *= 3 x’s current value multiplied by 3
/= x /= 7 x’s current value divided by 7
%= x %= 2 The remainder of x’s current value

Comparison Operators

Comparisons operators are used to check the relationship between variables and/or values and return either true or false. These operators will come into play with conditional statements and loops which we will discuss later in the course. Once again, below we have a table of the Comparison Operators.

For this table imagine x = 2 and that y = 3

Operator English Example Result
== Equal To x == y false
!= Not Equal To x != y true
< Less Than x < y true
> Greater Than x > y false
<= Less Than or Equal To x <= y true
>= Greater Than or Equal To x >= y false

String Operators

Some of operators you saw earlier in the lesson act a little bit differently when used with strings. The addition operators can be used to concatenate (or combine) strings into one string. Let’s look at the table below to get a better idea.

For this table, myVar = “Wiki”

Operator Description Example Result
+ Concatenates two strings myVar + “Programming” “WikiProgramming”
+= Concatenates two strings myVar += “Programming” “WikiProgramming”

Notice that the concatenation doesn’t automatically include a space between the strings. You have to either put a space at the end of the first string or at the beginning of the second one. A third alternative is to insert the space manual like in the example below


  • We covered the main operators in JavaScript which includes
    • Arithmetic operators are used to perform mathematical operations
    • Assignment operators are used to assign a value, usually to a variable
    • Comparison operators are used to compare the values of two pieces of data
    • String operators can be used to concatenate strings

Next Lesson

Now that we have the basics out of the way, we will be moving into more advanced lessons. The next one being JavaScript Functions will talk about how to create functions on your own!

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