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Order of Operations

Order of Operations

Aug 29 2019, 9:25 AM PST 2 min

Articles/Operators take precedence over one another in a certain order in Lua. This can affect the outcome of your formulae.

Here is what the Lua 5.1 Reference Manual says about operator precedence:

Operator precedence in Lua follows the table below, from lower to higher priority:
< > <= >= ~= ==
+ -
* / %
not # - (unary)

As usual, you can use parentheses to change the precedences of an expression. The concatenation ('..') and exponentiation ('^') operators are right associative. All other binary operators are left associative.

For example:


Will result in: -9

Because 3 is raised (^) to the second power first and then the sign of 9 is changed from positive to negative.

Notice that if we explicitly use parentheses, however, the outcome is different:


Will result in: 9

Here’s another example:

print(3 .. 2^2)

Will result in: 34
Notice that 2^2 is evaluated (2^2=4) before … , giving us the value of 34.


print (0 < 1 and 2 <= 7)

Will result in: true

Notice that the inequalities are evaluated before the and.

See Also