How to Increment in Python

In Python, as in many programming languages, there is a need to increment variables. The process of incrementing is a short way to add a specific value to a variable. This guide will focus on explaining different ways of incrementing values in Python.

Before We Begin

It is important to understand that Python does not support the “++” and “–” increment/decrement operators you might know from other languages like C++ or Java. We will go over the alternatives Python provides.

Simple Incrementing

In Python, you can increment a variable in the following way:

After this code, the value of a will be 2. We simply take the old value of a, add 1 to it and save it back to a.

Shorthand Incrementing

Python provides a shorthand way to do the same thing:

The a += 1 statement is equivalent to a = a + 1 but it’s shorter and more readable, especially when used in longer computations.

Incrementing Non-Numerical Values

Incrementing does not work on non-numerical values, like strings or lists, in the same way as on numerical values. But those types do have their equivalent of “incrementing”. For example, you can add a string to a string:

Or you can add an item to a list:

Full Code




In this tutorial, we have learned several ways to increment variables in Python. Remember, Python does not use “++” or “–“, so always use the “+=” operator or the long form “variable = variable + value”. You can also increment strings and lists, not only numerical variables. Continue your studies on the official Python documentation.