Result of character addition in Java

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What is the output when we add 'a' + 'b' ?
May 11, 2018 in Java by parth295
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2 answers to this question.

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The result of adding Java chars, shorts, or bytes is an int:

Java Language Specification on Binary Numeric Promotion:

  • If any of the operands is of a reference type, unboxing conversion (§5.1.8) is performed. Then:
  • If either operand is of type double, the other is converted to double.
  • Otherwise, if either operand is of type float, the other is converted to float.
  • Otherwise, if either operand is of type long, the other is converted to long.
  • Otherwise, both operands are converted to type int.

But note what it says about compound assignment operators (like +=):

The result of the binary operation is converted to the type of the left-hand variable ... and the result of the conversion is stored into the variable.

For example:

char x = 1, y = 2;
x = x + y; // compile error: "possible loss of precision (found int, required char)"
x = (char)(x + y); // explicit cast back to char; OK
x += y; // compound operation-assignment; also OK
answered May 11, 2018 by Rishabh
• 3,540 points
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Binary arithmetic operations on char and byte (and short) promote to int -- JLS 5.6.2.
answered Aug 22 by Sirajul
• 38,820 points

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