Boolean Values and Boolean ExpressionsΒΆ
The Python type for storing true and false values is called bool
, named
after the British mathematician, George Boole. George Boole created Boolean
Algebra, which is the basis of all modern computer arithmetic.
There are only two boolean values. They are True
and False
. Capitalization
is important, since true
and false
are not boolean values (remember Python is case
sensitive).
Note
Boolean values are not strings!
It is extremely important to realize that True and False are not strings. They are not
surrounded by quotes. They are the only two values in the data type bool
. Take a close look at the
types shown below.
A boolean expression is an expression that evaluates to a boolean value.
The equality operator, ==
, compares two values and produces a boolean value related to whether the
two values are equal to one another.
In the first statement, the two operands are equal, so the expression evaluates
to True
. In the second statement, 5 is not equal to 6, so we get False
.
The ==
operator is one of six common comparison operators; the others are:
x != y # x is not equal to y
x > y # x is greater than y
x < y # x is less than y
x >= y # x is greater than or equal to y
x <= y # x is less than or equal to y
Although these operations are probably familiar to you, the Python symbols are
different from the mathematical symbols. A common error is to use a single
equal sign (=
) instead of a double equal sign (==
). Remember that =
is an assignment operator and ==
is a comparison operator. Also, there is
no such thing as =<
or =>
.
Note too that an equality test is symmetric, but assignment is not. For example,
if a == 7
then 7 == a
. But in Python, the statement a = 7
is legal and 7 = a
is not. (Can you explain why?)
Check your understanding

rec536: Which of the following is a Boolean expression? Select all that apply.
 (A) True
 True and False are both Boolean literals.
 (B) 3 == 4
 The comparison between two numbers via == results in either True or False (in this case False), both Boolean values.
 (C) 3 + 4
 3+4 evaluates to 7, which is a number, not a Boolean value.
 (D) 3 + 4 == 7
 3+4 evaluates to 7. 7 == 7 then evaluates to True, which is a Boolean value.
 (E) "False"
 With the double quotes surrounding it, False is interpreted as a string, not a Boolean value. If the quotes had not been included, False alone is in fact a Boolean value.