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In this usage it appears as an expression on the right side of an assignment statement, as follows: The ?: operator is similar to the way conditional expressions (if-then-else constructs) work in functional programming languages, like Scheme, ML, and Haskell, since if-then-else forms an expression instead of a statement in those languages.except that if x is an expression, it is evaluated only once.
Usually the two sub-expressions value_if_true and value_if_false must have the same type, which determines the type of the whole expression.
The importance of this type-checking lies in the operator's most common use—in conditional assignment statements.
This shorthand form is sometimes known as the Elvis operator in other languages. In C there are conditional assignment situations where use of the if-else statement is impossible, since this language explicitly distinguishes between initialization and assignment.
In such case it is always possible to use a function call, but this can be cumbersome and inelegant.
Note that neither the true nor false portions can be omitted from the conditional operator without an error report upon parsing.
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This contrasts with if-then-else statements, where the else clause can be omitted.
In almost all languages, the ternary operator is right associative so that , which is rarely what any programmer expects.
(The given examples assume that the ternary operator has low operator precedence, which is true in all C-family languages, and many others.) The ternary operator can also be viewed as a binary map operation.
The condition is evaluated true or false as a Boolean expression.
On the basis of the evaluation of the Boolean condition, the entire expression returns value_if_true if condition is true, but value_if_false otherwise.