Python Identity Operators Tutorial – Complete Guide

Welcome to this comprehensive tutorial on Python Identity Operators! As an essential part of Python, a globally popular programming language, understanding identity operators can significantly polish your coding skills and expand your computational thinking capabilities. With the power of identity operators, you can craft more efficient and functional code whether you are developing a game mechanic, crunching data, or building a web application.

What are Python Identity Operators?

Python identity operators, ‘is’ and ‘is not’, are special operators that allow you to compare if two variables are actually the same object, not just containing the same value. Unlike comparison operators that focus on the value of variables, identity operators delve into the identity of those variables in the system memory.

Why Should You Learn Python Identity Operators?

Learning Python identity operators is like enhancing your problem-solving lens with a focused and sharper perception. Here are a few reasons why you should include this on your to-learn list:

  • Grasp advanced Python: Mastering identity operators is a key stepping stone towards advanced Python programming.
  • Build efficient code: Using identity operators can lead to efficient code thanks to their ability to work directly with object identities.
  • Understand object-oriented programming: As identity operators dive into the essence of objects, they can help you understand object-oriented programming better.
  • Develop debugging skills: With the power to compare identities, they can often prove helpful in debugging code by identifying surprising object relationships.

Let’s dive into some engaging and beginner-friendly code examples to understand the usage and functionality of these operators!

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Working with Python Identity Operators

Let’s begin by understanding the two identity operators in Python – ‘is’ and ‘is not’.

The ‘is’ Operator

This operator checks if two operands point to the same object.

example_1 = []
example_2 = []
example_3 = example_1

print(example_1 is example_2)  # Returns False
print(example_1 is example_3)  # Returns True

In this example, though example_1 and example_2 both are empty lists, they are different objects in memory. On the other hand, example_3 is set to be the same object as example_1, which is why it returns True.

The ‘is not’ Operator

This operator checks if two operands do not point to the same object.

example_1 = []
example_2 = []
example_3 = example_1

print(example_1 is not example_2)  # Returns True
print(example_1 is not example_3)  # Returns False

This behaves in the contrary manner to the ‘is’ operator. It returns True when the variables are not the same object, and False when they are.

Comparison of Identity and Equality Operators

‘is’ vs ‘==’

Although both of these operators might seem similar, they are fundamentally different. The ‘==’ operator checks value equality, while ‘is’ checks whether they are the exact same object.

example_1 = []
example_2 = []

print(example_1 == example_2)  # Returns True
print(example_1 is example_2)  # Returns False

Both example_1 and example_2 are empty and thus equal, but they are not the same object. This is why using ‘==’ gives True but ‘is’ returns False.

‘is not’ vs ‘!=’

Similar to the earlier comparison, ‘is not’ and ‘!=’ appear similar but function differently. The ‘!=’ operator checks value difference, while ‘is not’ checks whether they are different objects.

example_1 = ["Zenva"]
example_2 = ["Zenva"]

print(example_1 != example_2)  # Returns False
print(example_1 is not example_2)  # Returns True

Here, the lists example_1 and example_2 are equal but not the same object, so ‘!=’ returns False, but ‘is not’ returns True.

We hope these examples have brought the function and utility of identity operators into perspective. Let’s dive deeper into advanced uses of identity operators in the next section!

Advanced Uses of Python Identity Operators

With the basics covered, let’s explore how Identity Operators prove themselves as valuable tools when working with different data types and conditions.

Using Identity Operators with Numerical Variables

When working with numerical variables, Python’s memory management comes into play. Let’s understand this with an example.

x = 1000
y = 1000
print(x is y)  # Returns False

The ‘is’ operator returns False even though x and y have the same value. This is because Python creates separate objects for these large numbers.

However, when we use numbers in the range -5 to 256 (as Python optimizes memory use for small integers), we get a different result.

x = 256
y = 256
print(x is y)  # Returns True

Using Identity Operators with Strings

Identity operators can also be utilized effectively with strings.

str1 = "Zenva"
str2 = "Zenva"
print(str1 is str2)  # Returns True

This returns True because Python uses a technique called string interning, which reuses the same string object when creating identical strings.

Using Identity Operators with Boolean Values

Identity operators with boolean values act very similarly to the integer comparison.

bool1 = True
bool2 = True
print(bool1 is bool2)  # Returns True

This gives us True because there are only two boolean objects in Python – True and False.

Comparing None Objects

Identity operators perform efficiently when checking if a variable is None or not.

example_var = None
print(example_var is None)  # Returns True

Checking for ‘None’ is a common scenario in Python programming, and this is the most efficient way to do it.

With these examples, we conclude our exploration of Python’s Identity Operators. Remember, practice and application are key to mastering these concepts. Happy coding!

Where to go Next: Your Journey with Python Continues

Now that you’ve taken a crucial step forward in mastering Python Identity Operators, don’t let the momentum slow down! Your Python journey doesn’t end here, and we’re committed to helping you dive deeper into this fascinating world of coding.

We invite you to be part of our Python Mini-Degree program. This comprehensive collection of courses empowers you to master Python programming with its across-the-board benefits and versatility, spanning from coding fundamentals to object-oriented programming, data algorithms, and even game and app development.

At Zenva, we wholeheartedly believe in learn-by-doing, and as such, you’ll find our courses enriched with hands-on projects, such as games, apps, and even AI chatbots! Through our highly interactive lessons, quizzes, and live coding lessons, you can strengthen your skills while preparing yourself for real-world challenges and opportunities.

The journey doesn’t stop here. To embark further on this Python learning journey, consider our range of Python courses that are designed to meet various learning needs and interests. Whether you’re a beginner seeking to grasp the basics or an experienced programmer looking to level up, we have a learning path tailored just for you.


Understanding Python Identity Operators is an essential part of mastering Python programming. You’ve embarked on an exciting journey so far, laying a solid foundation in identity operators’ concept, empowering your Python code with efficiency, and elevating your problem-solving skills. The adventure, however, only gets better from here on!

We at Zenva are always geared up to guide you further in uncovering Python’s hidden layers. Join us and let’s march ahead together in this fascinating realm of coding, enhancing our capabilities and building cool stuff along the way!

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