Python offers a shorthand for updating variables. When you have a number saved in a variable and want to add to the current value of the variable, you can use the += (plus-equals) operator.

# First we have a variable with a number saved number_of_miles_hiked = 12 # Then we need to update that variable # Let's say we hike another two miles today number_of_miles_hiked += 2 # The new value is the old value # Plus the number after the plus-equals print(number_of_miles_hiked) # Prints 14

Above, we keep a running count of the number of miles a person has gone hiking over time. Instead of recalculating from the start, we keep a grand total and update it when we’ve gone hiking further.

The plus-equals operator also can be used for string concatenation, like so:

hike_caption = "What an amazing time to walk through nature!" # Almost forgot the hashtags! hike_caption += " #nofilter" hike_caption += " #blessed"

We create the social media caption for the photograph of nature we took on our hike, but then update the caption to include important social media tags we almost forgot.



We’re doing a little bit of online shopping and find a pair of new sneakers. Right before we check out, we spot a nice sweater and some fun books we also want to purchase!

Use the += operator to update the total_price to include the prices of nice_sweater and fun_books.

The prices (also included in the workspace) are:

  • new_sneakers = 50.00
  • nice_sweater = 39.00
  • fun_books = 20.00

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