#1,074 – Use Parentheses in Expressions to Make Code More Readable

In the absence of parentheses within an expression, operator precedence and associativity dictate how the expression will be evaluated. Technically, you only need parentheses in the expression if you want the expression to be evaluated differently, relative to the precedence and associativity rules.

If your expression doesn’t require parentheses in order to evaluate correctly, it’s often still a good idea to include them.  The parentheses will typically improve the readability of the expression because they make the evaluation order more clear.

            // This is tough to read
            int i5 = 1 + 10 / 5 * 2 - 12 / 4 + 24 % 5 / 2 * 4;

            // This is a bit better
            i5 = 1 + ((10 / 5) * 2) - (12 / 4) + (((24 % 5) / 2) * 4);
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About Sean
Software developer in the Twin Cities area, passionate about .NET technologies. Equally passionate about my own personal projects related to family history and preservation of family stories and photos.

3 Responses to #1,074 – Use Parentheses in Expressions to Make Code More Readable

  1. Pingback: DotNet Explained - The Daily Six Pack: April 15, 2014

  2. Steve Friedl says:

    General rule: if you have to look at an operator precedence chart to find out if you need parens or not, you need parens.

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