[Tutor] Calling a number's methods

Mark Young marky1991 at gmail.com
Wed Jun 23 07:51:04 CEST 2010

Why does this work

>>> a = 6
>>> b = 7
>>> answer = a.__sub__(b.__neg__())
>>> answer

but this does not?

>>> answer = 6.__sub__(7.__neg__())
SyntaxError: invalid syntax

I searched the internet, and found someone suggest adding spaces after each
number, which indeed works properly.

>>> answer = 6 .__sub__(7 .__neg__())
>>> answer

Why does this work? I don't even understand why python recognizes that I'm
trying to access the numbers' __sub__ and __neg__ methods, I would think
that the spaces would cause it to not work, but obviously it works just

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