Learning to define a function in Python is one of the most important steps in learning the language. Functions are blocks of code that perform a specific task and can be called from anywhere in the rest of your program. This way, you can avoid writing large amounts of code over and over and have dynamic processes that are responsive to context and user interaction.
Let’s take a closer look!
How to define a function in Python
The good news is that Python makes defining functions very easy. That’s because Python uses very nice syntax that looks a lot like English. To define a function, we simply use the “def” statement. Can you imagine what that is short for?
We then follow this statement with the name of our function (usually each word is capitalized) and then close parentheses. Finally, we’ll use a colon and an indentation.
Any code we want to belong to the function is then indented. We finish with the “return” statement, which tells Python to return to the point in the code where it was before.
Here’s how to do this:
def hello_print(): print("Hello world!") return hello_print()
How to pass arguments
Once you know how to define a function in Python, the next step is to learn how to pass arguments. Arguments are simply variables that you want to pass into your functions in order to manipulate them or transform them in some way.
A simple example would be to pass a string to our function so that we can greet the user by name:
def hello_print(Name): print("Hello" + Name) return hello_print("Barry")
Just name the variable inside the curly braces when you name the function, and remember to pass that value when you call it later!
And there you have it! How to Define a Function in Python: It really is that simple, which is why so many people love Python! If you want to learn more about using functions, see How to Call a Function in Python.
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