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The Java® Language Specification, Java SE 7 Edition, Fourth Edition by Alex Buckley, Gilad Bracha, Guy Steele, Bill Joy, James Gosling

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15.18. Additive Operators

The operators + and - are called the additive operators.

AdditiveExpression:    MultiplicativeExpression    AdditiveExpression +  MultiplicativeExpression    AdditiveExpression -  MultiplicativeExpression

The additive operators have the same precedence and are syntactically left-associative (they group left-to-right).

If the type of either operand of a + operator is String, then the operation is string concatenation.

Otherwise, the type of each of the operands of the + operator must be a type that is convertible (§5.1.8) to a primitive numeric type, or a compile-time error occurs.

In every case, the type of each of the operands of the binary - operator must be a type that is convertible (§5.1.8) to a primitive numeric ...

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