Modul (%) in python not like in C?

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Sun Sep 9 23:07:37 CEST 2007

"Dotan Cohen" <dotancohen at> wrote in message 
news:880dece00709091201n449d4c2k31998a5d426de17d at
| FIrst of all, how is the % symbol (as in 70%6=4) called in English?
| Second, in Turbo C -111%10=-1 however in python -111%10=9. Is one or
| the other in error? Is this a known gotcha? I tried to google the
| subject however one cannot google the symbol %. Thanks in advance.

Call it a known gotcha inherent to integers.  In the realm of counts (aka 
non-negative integers), there is one sensible definition of division and 
modulus (remainder).  It has various nice properties.  With mixed positive 
and negative integers, there are choices, and none have all the nice 
properties.  The basic problem is that '-infinity' and 0 are in opposite 
directions instead of the same direction ;-).  Guido made one consistent 
choice (which matches some other languages, I believe).  Others have made 
another consistent choice or no choice at all (leaving the choice to 
implementations).  I believe I have seen at least one book, if not 
language, that defined // and % so that remainders have the same sign as 
the numerator.  (Or was it denominator?)


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