Operators

Programming languages have a set of operators that perform arithmetical operations, and others such as Boolean operations on truth values, and string operators manipulating strings of text. Computers are mathematical devices, but compilers and interpreters require a full syntactic theory of all operations in order to parse formulae involving any combinations correctly. In particular they depend on operator precedence rules, on order of operations, that are tacitly assumed in mathematical writing.

Conventionally, the computing usage of operator also goes beyond the mathematical usage (for functions). In Visual Basic.NET, New, AddressOf and CType are operators. You can also define your own uses for operators. When an operator is alphanumeric rather than a punctuation character, it is sometimes called a named operator.

So operators are special symbols that are used to represent for example simple computations like addition and multiplication. Most of the operators in VB.NET do exactly what you would expect them to do, because they are common mathematical symbols. For example, the operator for adding two integers is +.

Assignment

The "=" operator is used for assignment. The operator also serves as a comparison operator (see Comparison).

To set values:

x = 7 ' x is now seven; in math terms we could say "let x = 7"

x = -1294

x = "example"

You can use variables in the equal operator, as well.

Dim x As Integer

Dim y As Integer = 4

x = y ' Anywhere we use x, 4 will be used.

y = 5 ' Anywhere we use y, 5 will be used, x stays to 4

Comparison

The "=" operator is used for comparison. The operator also serves as a assignation operator (see Assignment).

To compare values:

If 4 = 9 Then ' This code will never happen:

End ' Exit the program.

End If

If 1234 = 1234 Then ' This code will always be run after the check:

MessageBox.Show("Wow! 1234 is the same as 1234.")

' Create a box in the center of the screen.

End If

You can use variables in the equal operator, as well.

If x = 4 Then

MessageBox.Show("x is four.")

End If

Let's try a slightly more advanced operation.

MessageBox.Show("Seven equals two is " & (7 = 2) & ".")

' The parentheses are used because otherwise, by order of operations (equals is

' processed last), it would be comparing the strings "Seven equals two is 7" and "2.".

' Note here that the & operator appends to the string. We will talk about this later.

'

' The result of this should be a message box popping up saying "Seven equals two is

' False." This is because (7 = 2) will return False anywhere you put it. In the

' same sense, (7 = 7) will return True:

MessageBox.Show("Seven equals seven is " & (7 = 7) & ".")

You will get an error if you try to assign a constant or a literal a value, such as 7 = 2. You can compare 7 and 2, but the answer will always be False.

In the case of two equal operators appearing in a statement, such as

Dim x As Boolean

x = 2 = 7

The second equal operator will be processed first, comparing 2 and 7, giving a False. Then the first equal operator will be processed, assigning False to x.

More Comparison Operators

(x < y) (x > y) (x <> y) (x <= y) (x >= y)

(x less than y), (x more than y), (x not equal to y), (x less than or equal y) & (x greater than or equal to y)

Source: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Visual_Basic_.NET/Assignation_and_comparison_operators