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Making your own functions

We can define new custom functions by giving a name and the sequence of statements that execute when the function is called. Once we define a function, we can reuse the function over and over throughout our program. For eg,

def print_name():
    name = "Cloudxlab"        
    print("My name is", name)

It assigns "Cloudxlab" to the variable name and then prints it.

  • def is a keyword that indicates that this is a function definition. The name of the function is print_name.
  • The rules for function names are the same as for variable names: letters, numbers and some punctuation marks are legal, but the first character can't be a number.
  • You can't use a keyword as the name of a function, and you should avoid having a variable and a function with the same name.
  • The empty parentheses after the name indicate that this function doesn't take any arguments. Later we will build functions that take arguments as their inputs.
  • The first line of the function definition is called the header; the rest is called the body. The header has to end with a colon and the body has to be indented. By convention, the indentation is always four spaces. The body can contain any number of statements.

Try printing the type of print_name and see the result,

print(type(print_name))

The syntax for calling the new function is the same as for built-in functions:

print_name()
  • We can call a function inside another function or within the same function (called recursion)
  • The statements inside the function do not get executed until the function is called.

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