How to use the def statement in Python to create a function

Functions play a very important role in computer programming, especially when it comes to grouping code statements together with the main purpose of creating specific utilities to solve certain problems. Being a feature rich computer programming language, Python comes with the tools which one can easily use to write functions to automate their daily tasks.

The following syntax is being used to create a function in the Python computer programming language.

def find_sum():pass

A function in Python is composed of nested statements. It acts like a package of the statements so it can group them together to solve a specific problem. For a function in Python computer programming language to properly work, it must return something back to the caller.

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A coder can use the Python return statement inside a function to return something to the caller. The syntax for it is being shown below.

def find_sum():return 1

If executed, the above function will return the value of 1 back to the caller. To make things more practical, let’s fire up the Python interactive shell and run the code being shown above.


After running the above, in my Python interpreter shell, the following value was returned.


As a Python coder, you can use the def statement to write your own custom functions. The above one, does not do anything special at the moment, it just returns a value.

A real world function in Python computer programming language, should make use of arguments. The syntax for it is being shown below.

def find_sum(a, b):return a + b

The above function takes two arguments, a and b. Then it calculates and returns their sum. To run the above function, you have to provide two numbers like shown below.

find_sum(5, 3)

Once it is being run, the above code returns the following result.


Final thoughts

To code in a computer programming language, means to solve specific problems. Python functions play a very important role in software development. One can easily create their own custom functions by using the def statement like explained earlier in this article.

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