User Pavlo Plynko
Pavlo Plynko
Java Developer at CodeGym

Increment and Decrement Unary Operators in Java

Published in the Random group

Unary Operators

Unary operators are those operators in Java that only need a single operand to perform any function. They work on the same principal as unary operations in mathematics. For example, You can use unary operators to represent a positive value, negative value, increment a value by 1, decrement a value by 1 or to negate a value.
  • +x (positive value)
  • -x (negative value)
  • ++x (increment operation)
  • --x (decrement operation)
  • !x (negation)

Types of Unary Operators

There are 5 types of the Unary Operators

1. Unary Plus

It represents a positive value like +x = x or +5 = 5.

2. Unary Minus

It represents a negative value like -x = -x or -5 = -5.

3. Increment Unary Operator

It increments the value by 1 where ++x = x+1.

4. Decrement Unary Operator

It decrements the value by 1 where --x = x-1.

5. Logical Complement

It logically inverts the value of a boolean like if x = true, then !x will be false.

Increment Operator (++)

The increment (++) operator (also known as increment unary operator) in Java is used to increase the value of a variable by 1. Since it is a type of a unary operator, it can be used with a single operand.

Syntax

The syntax for increment operator is a pair of addition signs ie;
++x; x++;
The operator can be applied either before or after the variable. Both will have the same increment of 1. However, they both have separate uses and can be categorized as the following types.
  • Pre-Increment Operator
  • Post-Increment Operator

Example


public class IncrementOperator {

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		int variable = 15;
		System.out.println("Original value of the variable = " + variable);
		
		// after using increment operator 
		variable++; 	 //  increments 1, variable = 16
		System.out.println("variable++ = " + variable); 

		++variable;		//  increments 1, variable = 17
		System.out.println("++variable = " + variable); 
	}
}

Output

Original value of the variable = 15 variable++ = 16 ++variable = 17

Pre-Increment Operator (++x;)

If the increment operator (++) is specified before the variable like a prefix (++x), then it is called pre-increment operator. In this case, the value of the variable is first incremented by 1, and then further computations are performed.

Example


public class PreIncrementOperator {

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		int variable = 5;
		System.out.println("Original value of the variable = " + variable);
		
		// using pre-increment operator 
		int preIncrement = ++variable; 

		System.out.println("variable = " + variable); 
		System.out.println("preIncrement = " + preIncrement); 
		System.out.println("++preIncrement = " + ++preIncrement); 	
	}
}

Output

Original value of the variable = 5 variable = 6 preIncrement = 6 ++preIncrement = 7

Post-Increment Operator (x++;)

If the increment operator (++) is specified after the variable like a postfix (x++), then it is called post-increment operator. In this case, the original value of the variable (without increment) is used for computations and then it is incremented by 1.

Example


public class PostIncrementOperator {

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		int variable = 100;
		System.out.println("Original value of the variable = " + variable);
		
		// using post-increment operator 
		int postIncrement = variable++; // postIncrement = 100, variable = 101

		System.out.println("postIncrement = " + postIncrement); 
		System.out.println("variable = " + variable + "\n"); 
		
            // postIncrement = 101
		System.out.println("postIncrement++ = " + postIncrement++);
            // postIncrement = 102
		System.out.println("postIncrement++ = " + postIncrement++); 
            // postIncrement = 103
		System.out.println("postIncrement++ = " + postIncrement++); 
		
		System.out.println("\npostIncrement = " + postIncrement); 
	}
}

Output

Original variable = 100 postIncrement = 100 variable = 101 postIncrement++ = 100 postIncrement++ = 101 postIncrement++ = 102 postIncrement = 103
Increment and Decrement Unary Operators in Java - 1

Decrement Operator (--)

Decrement as the name implies is used to reduce the value of a variable by 1. It is also one of the unary operator types, so it can be used with a single operand.

Syntax

The syntax for decrement operator is a pair of negative signs ie;
--x; x--;
Just like the increment operator, the decrement (--) operator can also be applied before and after the variable. Both will result in the same decrement of 1. They both have distinct uses and can be diverged in the further types.
  • Pre-Decrement Operator
  • Post-Decrement Operator

Pre-Decrement Operator (--x;)

If the decrement operator (--) is mentioned before the variable like a prefix (--x), then it is called a pre-decrement operator. For this case, the value of the variable is first decremented by 1, and then other computations are performed.

Example


public class PreDecrementOperator {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
	
		int variable = 11;
		System.out.println("Original value of the variable = " + variable);
		
		// using preDecrement operator 
		int preDecrement = --variable; 
            
            // variable = 10
		System.out.println("variable = " + variable); 
            // preDecrement = 10
		System.out.println("preDecrement = " + preDecrement); 
            // preDecrement = 9		
		System.out.println("--preDecrement = " + --preDecrement);  	}
}

Output

Original value of the variable = 11 variable = 10 preDecrement = 10 --preDecrement = 9

Post-Decrement Operator (x--;)

If the decrement operator (--) is mentioned after the variable like a postfix (x--), then it is called a post-decrement operator. For this case, the original value of the variable (without decrement) is used for computations and then it is decremented by 1.

Example


public class PostDecrementOperator {

	public static void main(String[] args) {
	
		int variable = 75;
		System.out.println("Original value of the variable = " + variable);
		
		// using postDecrement operator 
            // postDecrement = 75, variable = 74
		int postDecrement = variable--; 
		System.out.println("postDecrement = " + postDecrement); 
		System.out.println("variable = " + variable + "\n"); 
		// postDecrement = 74
		System.out.println("postDecrement-- = " + postDecrement--); 
            // postDecrement = 73
		System.out.println("postDecrement-- = " + postDecrement--); 
            // postDecrement = 72
		System.out.println("postDecrement-- = " + postDecrement--);
		
		System.out.println("\npostDecrement = " + postDecrement); 
	}
}
Original value of the variable = 75 postDecrement = 75 variable = 74 postDecrement-- = 75 postDecrement-- = 74 postDecrement-- = 73 postDecrement = 72

Conclusion

By the end of this post, we hope that you’ve become well-familiarized with the increment and decrement unary operators in Java. You’re encouraged to practise the boundary cases and other practise problems at CodeGym to be confident in your skills. Good luck and happy learning!
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