An operator which is used to store a value into a particular variable is called **assignment operator in java**. In any programming language, an assignment operator is the most commonly used to assign a value in a variable.

There are three categories of assignment operations in java programming. They are as follows:

1. Simple assignment

2. Compound assignment.

3. Assignment as expression.

## Simple Assignment

A simple assignment can be used in two ways:

1. To store or assign a value into a variable.

2. To store a value of a variable into another variable.

It has the following general format to represent a simple assignment.

v = expression;

where,

v: It is a variable name that represents a memory location where a value may be stored.

expression: It may be a constant, variable, or a combination of constants, variables, and operators.

= is an assignment operator.

For example:

1. int x = 10;

2. int y = x; // Here, the value of variable x is stored into y.

## Compound Assignment

The general form of compound assignment is as follows:

v op = expression;

where,

op: It is a Java binary operator. It may be + – * / % << >> etc.

v and expression are the same as explained in the simple assignment.

The operator op = is known as a shorthand assignment operator in Java because

v op = expression is shorthand notation for v = v operator expression.

For example:

1. x += 5; // It is equivalent to int x = x + 5;

2. x -= 10; // It is equivalent to int x = x – 10;

3. a *= 100; // Equivalent to int a = a * 100;

4. a /= (b + c);

Let’s take an example program to understand the concept better.

**Program source code 1:**

package assignmentOperatorPrograms; public class CompoundTest { public static void main(String[] args) { int x = 20, y = 30, z = 50; x += y; y -= x + z; z *= x * y; System.out.println("x = " +x ); System.out.println("y = " +y ); System.out.println("z = " +z ); } }

Output: x = 50 y = -70 z = -175000

**Explanations:**

1. x += y; will be evaluated in the following steps:

x += y; is equivalent to x = x + y;

x = 20 + 30;

x = 50;

2. y -= x + z; is equivalent to y = y – (x + z);

y = y – ( 50 + 50);

y = 30 – 100;

y = -70;

3. z *= x * y; is equivalent to z = z * (x * y);

z = z * (50 * (-70));

z = 50 * (-3500);

z = -175000;

## Assignment as Expression

In Java, an assignment operation is also considered an expression because the operation has a result. The result of expression is a value which is stored in a variable. It is mainly used in more than one assignments.

For example:

1. int x = y – z + 4; // Here, the expression y – z + 4 is evaluated first and then its result is stored into the variable x.

Let’s take an example program related to this concept.

**Program source code 3:**

package assignmentOperatorPrograms; public class Expression { public static void main(String[] args) { int a = 19, b = 31, c = 50; a += 1; b -= 1; c *= 2; int x = (10 + a); int y = x + 100; int z = x + y + c; System.out.println("Value of a: " +a); System.out.println("Value of b: " +b); System.out.println("Value of c: " +c); System.out.println("Value of x: " +x); System.out.println("Value of y: " +y); System.out.println("Value of z: " +z); } }

Output: Value of a: 20 Value of b: 30 Value of c: 100 Value of x: 30 Value of y: 130 Value of z: 260

**Explanations:**

The following steps have been performed to evaluate the above expressions of the program.

1. a += 1;

a = a + 1;

a = 19 + 1;

a = 20;

2. b -= 1;

b = b – 1;

b = 31 – 1;

b = 30;

3. c *= 2;

c = c * 2;

c = 50 * 2;

c = 100;

4. x = (10 + a);

x = 10 + 20; // Here, the value of x will be 20, not 19.

x = 30;

5. y = x + 100;

y = 30 + 100; // Here, value of x will be 30.

y = 130;

6. z = x + y + c;

z = 30 + 130 +100; // Here, value of c will be 100.

z = 260;

**Note:**

1. You cannot use more than one variable on the left-hand side of = operator.

For example:

x + y = 20; // It is invalid because there will be doubt to Java compiler regarding for storing the value 20.

2. You cannot use a literal or constant value on the left-hand side of = operator.

For example:

20 = a; // It is also invalid because how can we store value of x in a number.

**Final words**

Hope that this tutorial has covered all important points related to **assignment operator in Java** with example programs. I hope that you will have understood this topic clearly and enjoyed it.

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