A Byte of Python

The return statement

The return statement is used to return from a function i.e. break out of the function. We can optionally return a value from the function as well.

Using the literal statement

Example 7.7. Using the literal statement

# Filename: func_return.py

def maximum(x, y):
	if x > y:
		return x
		return y

print maximum(2, 3)


$ python func_return.py

How It Works

The maximum function returns the maximum of the parameters, in this case the numbers supplied to the function. It uses a simple if..else statement to find the greater value and then returns that value.

Note that a return statement without a value is equivalent to return None. None is a special type in Python that represents nothingness. For example, it is used to indicate that a variable has no value if it has a value of None.

Every function implicitly contains a return None statement at the end unless you have written your own return statement. You can see this by running print someFunction() where the function someFunction does not use the return statement such as:

def someFunction():

The pass statement is used in Python to indicate an empty block of statements.