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Why does Swift need operator overloading?

Paul Hudson    @twostraws   

Updated for Xcode 14.2

Operator overloading allows the same operator – +, *, /, and so on – to do different things depending on what data you use it with. This allows us to use these symbols in various places where they would make sense: we can add two integers using +, we can append one string to another using +, we can join two arrays using +, and so on.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we can use all the operators in every place: we can subtract one integer from another, but what would it mean to subtract one string from another? Would it subtract from the start or the end? Would it subtract all instances of the string or just one?

When your skills grow you’ll find you can create your own custom operators if you want to, and even modify Swift’s existing operators.

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