Pass by reference vs value in Python

PythonServer Side ProgrammingProgramming

All parameters (arguments) in the Python language are passed by reference. It means if you change what a parameter refers to within a function, the change also reflects back in the calling function.

Example

 Live Demo

#!/usr/bin/python
# Function definition is here
def changeme( mylist ):
"This changes a passed list into this function"
mylist.append([1,2,3,4]);
print "Values inside the function: ", mylist
return
# Now you can call changeme function
mylist = [10,20,30];
changeme( mylist );
print "Values outside the function: ", mylist

Output

Here, we are maintaining reference of the passed object and appending values in the same object. So, this would produce the following result −

Values inside the function: [10, 20, 30, [1, 2, 3, 4]]
Values outside the function: [10, 20, 30, [1, 2, 3, 4]]

There is one more example where argument is being passed by reference and the reference is being overwritten inside the called function.

Example

 Live Demo

#!/usr/bin/python
# Function definition is here
def changeme( mylist ):
"This changes a passed list into this function"
mylist = [1,2,3,4]; # This would assig new reference in mylist
print "Values inside the function: ", mylist
return
# Now you can call changeme function
mylist = [10,20,30];
changeme( mylist );
print "Values outside the function: ", mylist

Output

The parameter mylist is local to the function changeme. Changing mylist within the function does not affect mylist. The function accomplishes nothing and finally this would produce the following result −

Values inside the function: [1, 2, 3, 4]
Values outside the function: [10, 20, 30]
raja
Published on 29-Jan-2020 11:11:15
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