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Python Function Arguments


Arguments

Information can be passed into functions as arguments.

Arguments are specified after the function name, inside the parentheses. You can add as many arguments as you want, just separate them with a comma.

The following example has a function with one argument (fname). When the function is called, we pass along a first name, which is used inside the function to print the full name:

Example

def my_function(fname):
  print(fname + " Refsnes")

my_function("Emil")
my_function("Tobias")
my_function("Linus")
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Arguments are often shortened to args in Python documentations.

Parameters or Arguments?

The terms parameter and argument can be used for the same thing: information that are passed into a function.

From a function's perspective:

A parameter is the variable listed inside the parentheses in the function definition.

An argument is the value that are sent to the function when it is called.


Number of Arguments

By default, a function must be called with the correct number of arguments. Meaning that if your function expects 2 arguments, you have to call the function with 2 arguments, not more, and not less.

Example

This function expects 2 arguments, and gets 2 arguments:

def my_function(fname, lname):
  print(fname + " " + lname)

my_function("Emil", "Refsnes")
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If you try to call the function with 1 or 3 arguments, you will get an error:

Example

This function expects 2 arguments, but gets only 1:

def my_function(fname, lname):
  print(fname + " " + lname)

my_function("Emil")
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