I have an idea for how the ? operator works: it is shorthand for if else statements. though I'm confused as to how it can be put as a return value of a method. At first, I thought the operator was syntactically equivalent (i.e. in any context, you can interchange the two and the program will yield the same output.) I try to test this by putting an if else statement as a return value, but I get an error. perhaps I'm not fully understanding the nature of return statements? personally, I learn how to code best when I have at least a very good idea of what the code is saying rather than "oh, it passed all the tests! I don't know how though!" any thoughts?