If I do this:
>>> False in [False, True] True
True. Simply because
False is in the list.
But if I do:
>>> not(True) in [False, True] False
not(True) is equal to
>>> not(True) False
in binds more tightly than
not, so your expression is equivalent to
not((True) in [False, True]).
It’s all about operator precedence (
in is stronger than
not). But it can be easily corrected by adding parentheses at the right place:
(not(True)) in [False, True] # prints true
not(True) in [False, True]
is the same like:
not((True) in [False, True])
which looks if
True is in the list and returns the “not” of the result.
>>> not ((True) in [False, True]) False
This is what you want:
>>> (not True) in [False, True] True
As @Ben points out: It’s recommended to never write
not True. The former makes it look like a function call, while
not is an operator, not a function.
It is evaluating as
not True in [False, True], which returns
True is in
If you try
>>>(not(True)) in [False, True] True
You get the expected result.
not x in y is evaluated as
x not in y
You can see exactly what’s happening by disassembling the code. The first case works as you expect:
>>> x = lambda: False in [False, True] >>> dis.dis(x) 1 0 LOAD_GLOBAL 0 (False) 3 LOAD_GLOBAL 0 (False) 6 LOAD_GLOBAL 1 (True) 9 BUILD_LIST 2 12 COMPARE_OP 6 (in) 15 RETURN_VALUE
The second case, evaluates to
True not in [False, True], which is
>>> x = lambda: not(True) in [False, True] >>> dis.dis(x) 1 0 LOAD_GLOBAL 0 (True) 3 LOAD_GLOBAL 1 (False) 6 LOAD_GLOBAL 0 (True) 9 BUILD_LIST 2 12 COMPARE_OP 7 (not in) 15 RETURN_VALUE >>>
What you wanted to express instead was
(not(True)) in [False, True], which as expected is
True, and you can see why:
>>> x = lambda: (not(True)) in [False, True] >>> dis.dis(x) 1 0 LOAD_GLOBAL 0 (True) 3 UNARY_NOT 4 LOAD_GLOBAL 1 (False) 7 LOAD_GLOBAL 0 (True) 10 BUILD_LIST 2 13 COMPARE_OP 6 (in) 16 RETURN_VALUE
Let’s see it as a collection containment checking operation:
[False, True] is a list containing some elements.
True in [False, True] returns
True is an element contained in the list.
not True in [False, True] gives the “boolean opposite”,
not result of the above expression (without any parentheses to preserve precedence, as
in has greater precedence than
not True will result
On the other hand,
(not True) in [False, True], is equal to
False in [False, True], which is
False is contained in the list).
Alongside the other answers that mentioned the precedence of
not is lower than
in, actually your statement is equivalent to :
not (True in [False, True])
But note that if you don’t separate your condition from the other ones, python will use 2 roles (
chaining) in order to separate that, and in this case python used precedence. Also, note that if you want to separate a condition you need to put all the condition in parenthesis not just the object or value :
(not True) in [False, True]
But as mentioned, there is another modification by python on operators that is chaining:
Based on python documentation :
Note that comparisons, membership tests, and identity tests, all have the same precedence and have a left-to-right chaining feature as described in the Comparisons section.
For example the result of following statement is
>>> True == False in [False, True] False
Because python will chain the statements like following :
(True == False) and (False in [False, True])
Which exactly is
False and True that is
You can assume that the central object will be shared between 2 operations and other objects (False in this case).
And note that its also true for all Comparisons, including membership tests and identity tests operations which are following operands :
in, not in, is, is not, <, <=, >, >=, !=, ==
>>> 1 in [1,2] == True False
Another famous example is number range :
which is equal to :
7<x and x<20
To clarify on some of the other answers, adding parentheses after a unary operator does not change its precedence.
not(True) does not make
not bind more tightly to
True. It’s just a redundant set of parentheses around
True. It’s much the same as
(True) in [True, False]. The parentheses don’t do anything. If you want the binding to be more tight, you have to put the parentheses around the whole expression, meaning both the operator and the operand, i.e.,
(not True) in [True, False].
To see this another way, consider
>>> -2**2 -4
** binds more tightly than
-, which is why you get the negative of two squared, not the square of negative two (which would be positive four).
What if you did want the square of negative two? Obviously, you’d add parentheses:
>>> (-2)**2 4
However, it’s not reasonable to expect the following to give
>>> -(2)**2 -4
-(2) is the same as
-2. The parentheses do absolutely nothing.
not(True) is exactly the same.