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Engineering LibreTexts

3.6: Nested Conditionals

One conditional can also be nested within another. We could have written the three-branch example like this:

if x == y:
    print('x and y are equal')
    if x < y:
        print('x is less than y')
        print('x is greater than y')

The outer conditional contains two branches. The first branch contains a simple statement. The second branch contains another if statement, which has two branches of its own. Those two branches are both simple statements, although they could have been conditional statements as well.

Nested If Statements

Nested If Statements

Although the indentation of the statements makes the structure apparent, nested conditionals become difficult to read very quickly. In general, it is a good idea to avoid them when you can.

Logical operators often provide a way to simplify nested conditional statements. For example, we can rewrite the following code using a single conditional:

if 0 < x:
    if x < 10:
        print('x is a positive single-digit number.')

The print statement is executed only if we make it past both conditionals, so we can get the same effect with the and operator:

if 0 < x and x < 10:
    print('x is a positive single-digit number.')