Understanding the Inline If Statement in Python

Python is one of the most versatile and powerful languages with lots of features and one of its key features is the ability to use the inline if statement. This is also known as a ternary operator that allows us to write efficient code by condensing an if-else statement into a single-line code.

In this article, we will be exploring the syntax and the usage of the inline if statement in our code with the help of some examples.

What is an Inline If statement in Python?

Inline If Statement is a shorthand for writing an if-else statement in a single line of code. It helps us to reduce the code of writing the full syntax of an if-else statement in our program. This makes the code more readable and simple to understand for anyone, especially a beginner programmer.

How to write an Inline If statement in python?

Writing an inline if statement in python is a very straightforward process. The syntax of the Inline If Statement is as follows:

value_if_true if condition else value_if_false

The condition is evaluated first and it gives us a boolean. If the condition is True, the value_if_true is returned and if the condition is False , then value_if_false is returned.

Use cases of Inline If Statement in python

There are several use cases for using the inline if statement in Python. We can use it to determine which value to assign to a variable depending on the condition. For example, consider the following code:

x = 5
y = 10
max_value = x if x > y else y

print(max_value) // 10

In this example, the condition x > y is checked and since it is False, the value of y is assigned to the variable max_value.

Another example to use the Inline If Statement is to control the flow of a program.

For example:

x = 20
print("x is greater than 5") if x > 5 else print("x is less than or equal to 5")

Here, we are using the inline If statement to control the flow of the program based on the value of the variable x. If the x is greater than 5, then it will print x is greater than 5 , if not it will print x is less than or equal to 5.

We can also use Inline If with functions too. For example, consider the following code:

def square(num):
    return num * num

def cube(num):
    return num * num * num

num = 3
output = square(num) if num > 2 else cube(num)

print(output) // 9

In this example, since the condition num > 2 is True, so the square(num) function is executed and the squared value is set to the variable output.

Advantages of using Inline If statement

The Inline If statement helps you write a simple if-else statement in one line of code instead of the multi-line statement which makes the code more readable for others.

Secondly, it improves the performance of the code as it is generally faster to execute than the multi-line if-esle statement.


The Inline if statement is a powerful tool if you want to write more readable and efficient code. They have a variety of different use cases, such as determining the value of a variable and controlling the flow of a program. If you want to write clean and readable code in your program consider using the inline if statement.

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