Adventures in Machine Learning

Mastering the Art of Returning in Python: Closures Decorators and Object Creation

Python programming language is one of the most popular programming languages today. Python is known for its simplicity and ease of use, making it an excellent choice for beginners in programming.

One of the essential features of Python is its functions. Python functions are reusable pieces of code that can perform specific tasks.

Functions are a way to break down a more extensive program into smaller, more manageable, and more reusable components. With Python’s Functions, you can write code that is easier to maintain, test, and debug.

In this article, we will start by defining Python functions and their purpose. We’ll also look at the structure of a function, which is divided into the function header and body.

Finally, we’ll discuss the use of the pass statement in a Python function.

Definition and Purpose of Python Functions

Python functions are a set of instructions that perform a predefined task or operation. Functions play a crucial role in programming because they allow you to reuse code and avoid duplication.

They help keep your code organized, making it easier to read and maintain. Functions can be simple or complex, depending on the task they are designed to perform.

They can also be called multiple times throughout a program. When a function is called, it executes the code inside its body and then returns the result to the calling code.

Function Header and Body

The function header is the first line of code in a function. It contains the keyword “def” followed by the function name and any parameters passed to the function.

The function body comes after the header and contains the set of instructions or statements to be executed when the function is called. Consider the following example:


def add_numbers(x, y):

result = x + y

return result


In this example, the function name is “add_numbers,” and it takes two parameters, x and y.

The body of the function adds x and y together and returns the result.

Using the Pass Statement in a Function

Sometimes, you may need to create a function that doesn’t have any code yet, but needs to be created for future use. In this case, you can use the pass statement to create an empty function without causing any errors.

Here is an example:


def empty_function():



In this example, the function has no body, but it won’t cause an error because the pass statement tells Python to do nothing.

Understanding the Python Return Statement

The return statement is another essential feature of Python functions. It is used to send a value back to the calling code where the function was called from.

The return statement can be explicitly or implicitly declared within a function.

Explicit Return Statements

An explicit return statement is when a function returns a value using the return keyword. The function will execute the code inside its body and then return the result to the calling code.

Here’s an example:


def multiply(x, y):

result = x * y

return result


In this example, the function multiplies x and y together and then returns the result using the return keyword.

Implicit Return Statements

An implicit return statement occurs when a function returns a value without using the return keyword. Python assumes that the result of the last statement in a function body is the return value.

Here’s an example:


def increment(x):

x += 1

x += 1

x += 1

return x


In this example, the function increments x three times and returns the result of the last increment.

Returning vs Printing

It’s essential to differentiate between returning a value and printing a value. A function that returns a value can be used to assign that value to a variable or pass it as a parameter to another function.

A function that prints a value will only display the result on the screen. Here’s an example:


def square(x):

result = x ** 2

return result



In this example, the function “square” returns the value of 16, which is then printed to the screen using the print statement.

Final Thoughts

Python functions are an essential aspect of programming in Python. They allow you to break down your code into smaller, more manageable pieces while avoiding code duplication.

Functions can be simple or complex, but they all share the purpose of making your code more readable and maintainable. Remember to use the pass statement when creating functions without any code yet, and be sure to differentiate between returning a value and printing a value.

Python is a powerful and versatile language that provides developers with many tools to write efficient and effective code. The return statement is one such tool that enables us to write functions that return output, which can then be used in other parts of our program.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the topic of return statements, exploring how they can be used to return multiple values and discussing best practices when using them in your Python code.

Returning Multiple Values in a Single Return Statement

In Python, it is possible to return multiple values in a single return statement. This is done by separating the values with a comma.

When you call the function, you will receive a tuple containing all of the values that were returned. Here is an example:


def return_values():

return 1, 2, 3

a, b, c = return_values()

print(a) # Output: 1

print(b) # Output: 2

print(c) # Output: 3


In this example, we have a function called return_values that returns three values: 1, 2, and 3.

We call this function and store the values in three separate variables using unpacking. When we print out the values of these variables, we get 1, 2, and 3, respectively.

Using Iterable Unpacking to Unpack Return Values

Another way to handle multiple return values is to use iterable unpacking. Iterable unpacking is a shorthand method for unpacking multiple values from a sequence like tuples or lists.

Here is an example:


def example():

return 1, 2, 3

a, b, c = example()


In this example, we have a function called example that returns three values. We then use iterable unpacking to assign each of these values to the variables a, b, and c.

This is a helpful shortcut for dealing with multiple return values, especially when there are many of them.

Explicitly Returning None

When writing a Python function that returns nothing, it is best practice to explicitly return None. Explicitly returning None makes it clearer to anyone reading your code that the function is not meant to return a value.

Remembering the Return Value

It is a good practice to store the return value of a function in a variable, even if you are not planning to use it right away. By storing the return value in a variable, you can access it later in the program if needed.

Avoiding Complex Expressions

Try to keep your return statements simple and avoid complex expressions. Complex expressions make it difficult for other developers to understand your code, and they’re also more challenging to debug.

By keeping your return statements simple, you make your code easier to understand and maintain.

Returning Values vs Modifying Globals

When writing functions in Python, it’s best practice to return values instead of modifying global variables. Functions that modify global variables can make it challenging to track where the changes come from.

By returning the value instead of modifying the global variable, it’s easier to keep track of where the changes originated from.

Using Return with Conditionals

Return statements can be used in combination with conditionals (if-elif statements) to control the output of a function. This is particularly useful when you want to return different values based on different conditions.

Here is an example:


def example(val):

if val > 0:

return “Positive”

elif val == 0:

return “Zero”


return “Negative”


In this example, we have a function called example that takes in a value called val. If this value is greater than zero, the function will return the string “Positive.” If the value is equal to zero, the function will return the string “Zero.” Finally, if the value is negative, the function will return the string “Negative.”

Returning True or False

Python functions can also be used to return True or False based on whether or not a certain condition is met. This is often the case when writing code for conditional expressions.

For example:


def is_odd(num):

if num % 2 != 0:

return True


return False


In this example, we have a function called is_odd that takes in a number called num. If this number is odd, the function will return True.

If the number is even, the function will return False.

Short-Circuiting Loops

A common use of return statements in Python is to short-circuit loops. This means that instead of running the loop until its completion, once a condition is met, the loop will “exit” early and immediately return a value.

This can be useful when we don’t need to iterate through an entire list to get a result. Here is an example:


def is_even(lst):

for num in lst:

if num % 2 != 0:

return False

return True


In this example, we have a function called is_even that takes in a list called lst.

The function then iterates through each item in the list and checks if it is even or odd. If an odd number is found, the function will return False immediately, without checking the rest of the list.

If the function makes it past the for loop without returning False, it means that all of the numbers in the list are even, so it returns True.

Recognizing Dead Code

Finally, when writing code that involves returns, keep an eye out for dead code, which is code that will never actually execute because it comes after a return statement. Be sure to remove any dead code so that your program runs more efficiently.


Return statements are a helpful tool for anyone writing Python code, and they offer many possibilities for developers to control the output of a function. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can write code that is easier to understand, maintain, and debug.

Python is a versatile programming language that offers developers a range of features to work with. One of these features is the ability to return functions.

In this article, we will explore two of the most important concepts relating to returning functions: closures and decorators.

Closure Functions

Closure functions are functions that have access to variables in a local scope even after the parent function has finished executing. These variables are also referred to as “free variables.”

Here’s an example:


def parent_function(x):

def child_function(y):

return x + y

return child_function

closure = parent_function(10)

print(closure(5)) # Output: 15


In this example, we have two functions: parent_function and child_function.

The parent_function takes a variable x as an argument and returns the child_function. The child_function, in turn, takes a variable y as an argument and returns the sum of x and y.

When we call the parent_function with an argument of 10, it returns the child_function. We then assign this returned function to a variable called closure.

Finally, when we call the closure with an argument of 5, the value 15 is printed to the console. The reason why this works is that the child_function has access to the variable x even after the parent_function has finished executing.

This is because the function has created a closure where the value of x is stored. Closures are useful when you want to create a function that takes some value as input and “remembers” that value for use in another function.

This can be particularly useful when working with functions that you plan to reuse often.

Defining Decorators

Decorators are a way to modify the behavior of a function without changing its code. A decorator takes a function as input and returns a new function with modified behavior.

Here’s an example of a decorator:


def my_decorator(func):

def wrapper():

print(“Before the function is called.”)


print(“After the function is called.”)

return wrapper







In this example, we define a decorator called my_decorator that takes a function called func as input. The decorator returns a new function called wrapper, which executes some code before and after the original function is called.

We then define a function called say_hello and decorate it with the my_decorator function using the “@” symbol. Finally, when we call say_hello, the my_decorator function modifies its behavior by printing “Before the function is called” before executing the say_hello function and “After the function is called” after executing it.

Decorators can be used to perform a wide variety of tasks, such as debugging, timing functions, and adding authentication to function calls.


Returning functions is a powerful technique that can take your Python programming to the next level. Closures and decorators are two of the most important concepts related to returning functions, and we hope that this article has given you a better understanding of how they work and how you can use them in your own programs.

With these tools, you can write more efficient, flexible, and effective code. Python is a powerful language that offers developers a range of features to work with, including the ability to return user-defined objects and using the factory pattern for object creation.

Additionally, using return in try…finally blocks is an important concept for managing the flow of control in your code. We will explore these concepts in more detail below.

Creating User-Defined Objects with Python Classes

Python classes allow you to define your own data types. These objects can contain data and methods that perform operations on that data.

In other words, they enable you to create your own custom data types. Here’s an example:


class Person:

def __init__(self, name, age): = name

self.age = age

def say_hello(self):

print(“Hello, my name is”,, “and I am”, self.age, “years old.”)

person = Person(“Bob”, 25)




In this example, we have defined a Person class that contains a constructor method (__init__) and a “say_hello” method. The constructor takes in two parameters, “name” and “age,” and initializes them to instance variables.

The “say_hello” method simply prints a greeting to the console. Finally, we create an instance of the Person class called “person” and call the “say_hello” method on it.

The output of the program will be “Hello, my name is Bob and I am 25 years old.”

Using the Factory Pattern for Object Creation

The Factory Pattern is a design pattern that separates the creation of objects from their use. In other words, the pattern allows you to create objects in a separate function or class, making it easier to manage the creation of objects in your program.

Here’s an example:


class Car:

def __init__(self, make, model):

self.make = make

self.model = model

class CarFactory:

def create_car(self, make, model):

return Car(make, model)

factory = CarFactory()

car = factory.create_car(“Toyota”, “Corolla”)

print(car.make, car.model) # Output: Toyota Corolla


In this example, we define a Car class that contains a constructor method (__init__) and two parameters (make and model). We also define a CarFactory class that contains a method called “create_car” that takes in two parameters (make and model) and returns a new instance of the Car class.

Finally, we create an instance of the CarFactory called “factory” and use it to create a new car with the make “Toyota” and model “Corolla.” We then print out the car’s make and model to the

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