Making decisions

The most common and maybe the most important statement you need to learn is the decision statement. This is represented in Python using the if  keyword followed by a conditional expression then followed by “:” like in example below:

# ------------------------------------------
# program example for decision statement
# ------------------------------------------
x = int(input("Please enter an integer: "))
if x < 0:
    x = 0
    print('Negative changed to zero')
elif x == 0:
elif x == 1:

# end program

This is also called multi-deck decision statement becouse there are several blocks that can be executed in different cases. The default case do not have a condition and will execute if no other case condition is satisfied.

Running program

If you save this code as a file: and run you will have:


Please enter an integer: 0


Please enter an integer: 1


 Please enter an integer: 2


Python is using mandatory indentation of 4 spaces.  To exit from decision statement you can start a new statement at the beginning of next row. This will allow the interpretor to distinguish between a blok of code amd other statements.


The decision statement is using one or several conditions. A condition is a logical expression or a Boolean expression that returns True or False. In Python an expression that do not return 0 or “” or None it is considered True. You can use decisions to check if an object is initialized or a number has value not equal to 0.


x = 0
if x:
    print("x is not zero")
    print("x is zero")

Will print:

x is zero

Notice I’m using assignment statement (single equal) “=” to make a new variable x having initial value == 0.

Logical True and False

Logical values in Python are True = 1 and False ==0. These values are constant and can be used in conditions to make decisions. You can compare a value with a logical constant or assign a value to a variable.

>>> v = True
>>> if v: print("yes")


Relation Operators:

To compare numbers we use relation operators:

  • Is equal:   1 == 1
  • Is not equal:  1 != 2
  • Greater then: 2 > 1
  • Less then:  1 < 2
  • Greater then or equal to: 2 >= 2
  • Less the or equal to:  0 <= 1

Logical Operators:

To make other decisions we use keywords:

  • or
  • and
  • not

For example:

>> True and True
>> not True
>> False or True
>> not False



Read next: Repetition