Python Functions is a block of related statements designed to perform a computational, logical, or evaluative task. The idea is to put some commonly or repeatedly done tasks together and make a function so that instead of writing the same code again and again for different inputs, we can do the function calls to reuse code contained in it over and over again.
Functions can be both built-in or user-defined. It helps the program to be concise, non-repetitive, and organized.
def function_name(parameters): """docstring""" statement(s) return expression
Creating a Function
We can create a Python function using the def keyword.
Example: Python Creating Function
Calling a Function
After creating a function we can call it by using the name of the function followed by parenthesis containing parameters of that particular function.
Example: Python Calling Function
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Arguments of a Function
Arguments are the values passed inside the parenthesis of the function. A function can have any number of arguments separated by a comma.
Example: Python Function with arguments
In this example, we will create a simple function to check whether the number passed as an argument to the function is even or odd.
Types of Arguments
Python supports various types of arguments that can be passed at the time of the function call. Let’s discuss each type in detail.
A default argument is a parameter that assumes a default value if a value is not provided in the function call for that argument. The following example illustrates Default arguments.
('x: ', 10) ('y: ', 50)
Like C++ default arguments, any number of arguments in a function can have a default value. But once we have a default argument, all the arguments to its right must also have default values.
The idea is to allow the caller to specify the argument name with values so that caller does not need to remember the order of parameters.
('Geeks', 'Practice') ('Geeks', 'Practice')
In Python, we can pass a variable number of arguments to a function using special symbols. There are two special symbols:
- *args (Non-Keyword Arguments)
- **kwargs (Keyword Arguments)
Example 1: Variable length non-keywords argument
Hello Welcome to GeeksforGeeks
Example 2: Variable length keyword arguments
first == Geeks mid == for last == Geeks
The first string after the function is called the Document string or Docstring in short. This is used to describe the functionality of the function. The use of docstring in functions is optional but it is considered a good practice.
The below syntax can be used to print out the docstring of a function:
Example: Adding Docstring to the function
Function to check if the number is even or odd
The return statement
The function return statement is used to exit from a function and go back to the function caller and return the specified value or data item to the caller.
Syntax: return [expression_list]
The return statement can consist of a variable, an expression, or a constant which is returned to the end of the function execution. If none of the above is present with the return statement a None object is returned.
Example: Python Function Return Statement
Is Python Function Pass by Reference or pass by value?
One important thing to note is, in Python every variable name is a reference. When we pass a variable to a function, a new reference to the object is created. Parameter passing in Python is the same as reference passing in Java.
[20, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]
When we pass a reference and change the received reference to something else, the connection between the passed and received parameter is broken. For example, consider the below program.
[10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]
Another example to demonstrate that the reference link is broken if we assign a new value (inside the function).
Exercise: Try to guess the output of the following code.
In Python, an anonymous function means that a function is without a name. As we already know the def keyword is used to define the normal functions and the lambda keyword is used to create anonymous functions. Please see this for details.
Python Function within Functions
A function that is defined inside another function is known as the inner function or nested function. Nested functions are able to access variables of the enclosing scope. Inner functions are used so that they can be protected from everything happening outside the function.
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Quick Links :
- Quiz on Python Functions
- Difference between Method and Function in Python
- First Class functions in Python
- Recent articles on Python Functions.
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