6.6. Conditional Execution: Binary Selection¶
In order to write useful programs, we almost always need the ability to check conditions and change the behavior of the program accordingly. Selection statements, sometimes also referred to as conditional statements, give us this ability. The simplest form of selection is the if statement. This is sometimes referred to as binary selection since there are two possible paths of execution.
The syntax for an
if statement looks like this:
if BOOLEAN EXPRESSION: STATEMENTS_1 # executed if condition evaluates to True else: STATEMENTS_2 # executed if condition evaluates to False
The boolean expression after the
if statement is called the condition.
If it is true, then the indented statements get executed. If not, then the statements
indented under the
else clause get executed.
Below is a flowchart of an if statement with an else clause:
As with the function definition from the last chapter and other compound
if statement consists of a header line and a body. The header
line begins with the keyword
if followed by a boolean expression and ends with
a colon (:).
The indented statements that follow are called a block. The first unindented statement marks the end of the block.
Each of the statements inside the first block of statements is executed in order if the boolean
expression evaluates to
True. The entire first block of statements
is skipped if the boolean expression evaluates to
False, and instead
all the statements under the
else clause are executed.
There is no limit on the number of statements that can appear under the two clauses of an
if statement, but there has to be at least one statement in each block.
Check your understanding
Write code to assign the string
"You can apply to SI!" to
output if the string
"SI 106" is in the list
courses. If it is not in
courses, assign the value
"Take SI 106!" to the variable
Create a variable,
b, and assign it the value of
15. Then, write code to see if the value
b is greater than that of
a. If it is,
a’s value should be multiplied by 2. If the value of
b is less than or equal to
a, nothing should happen. Finally, create variable
c and assign it the value of the sum of