4.8 Arithmetic Expressions
This section covers the operators that perform arithmetic or other numerical manipulations on their operands. The multiplication, division, and subtraction operators are straightforward and are covered first. The addition operator gets a subsection of its own because it can also perform string concatenation and has some unusual type conversion rules. The unary operators and the bitwise operators are also covered in subsections of their own.
The basic arithmetic operators are *(multiplication), /(division), %(modulo: remainder after division), + (addition), and -(subtraction). As noted, we’ll discuss the + operator in a section of its own. The other basic four operators simply evaluate their operands, convert the values to numbers if necessary, and then compute the product, quotient, remainder, or difference between the values. Non-numeric operands that cannot convert to numbers convert to the NaN value. If either operand is (or converts to) NaN, the result of the operation is also NaN.
The %operator computes the first operand modulo the second operand. In other words, it returns the remainder after whole-number division of the first operand by the second operand. The sign of the result is the same as the sign of the first operand. For example, 5 % 2 evaluates to 1 and -5 % 2 evaluates to -1.
While the modulo operator is typically used with integer operands, it also works for floating-point values. For example, 6.5 % 2.1 evaluates to 0.2.