Is there a "not equal" operator in Python?


How would you say does not equal?


if hi == hi:
    print "hi"
elif hi (does not equal) bye:
    print "no hi"

Is there something equivalent to == that means "not equal"?

10/7/2018 9:31:32 PM

Accepted Answer

Use !=. See comparison operators. For comparing object identities, you can use the keyword is and its negation is not.


1 == 1 #  -> True
1 != 1 #  -> False
[] is [] #-> False (distinct objects)
a = b = []; a is b # -> True (same object)
5/13/2020 3:39:13 AM

Not equal != (vs equal ==)

Are you asking about something like this?

answer = 'hi'

if answer == 'hi':     # equal
   print "hi"
elif answer != 'hi':   # not equal
   print "no hi"

This Python - Basic Operators chart might be helpful.


There's the != (not equal) operator that returns True when two values differ, though be careful with the types because "1" != 1. This will always return True and "1" == 1 will always return False, since the types differ. Python is dynamically, but strongly typed, and other statically typed languages would complain about comparing different types.

There's also the else clause:

# This will always print either "hi" or "no hi" unless something unforeseen happens.
if hi == "hi":     # The variable hi is being compared to the string "hi", strings are immutable in Python, so you could use the 'is' operator.
    print "hi"     # If indeed it is the string "hi" then print "hi"
else:              # hi and "hi" are not the same
    print "no hi"

The is operator is the object identity operator used to check if two objects in fact are the same:

a = [1, 2]
b = [1, 2]
print a == b # This will print True since they have the same values
print a is b # This will print False since they are different objects.

You can use both != or <>.

However, note that != is preferred where <> is deprecated.


Seeing as everyone else has already listed most of the other ways to say not equal I will just add:

if not (1) == (1): # This will eval true then false
    # (ie: 1 == 1 is true but the opposite(not) is false)
    print "the world is ending" # This will only run on a if true
elif (1+1) != (2): #second if
    print "the world is ending"
    # This will only run if the first if is false and the second if is true
else: # this will only run if the if both if's are false
    print "you are good for another day"

in this case it is simple switching the check of positive == (true) to negative and vise versa...


You can use "is not" for "not equal" or "!=". Please see the example below:

a = 2
if a == 2:

The above code will print "true" as a = 2 assigned before the "if" condition. Now please see the code below for "not equal"

a = 2
if a is not 3:
   print("not equal")

The above code will print "not equal" as a = 2 as assigned earlier.