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Python Variables

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Think of a variable as a name attached to a particular object. In Python, variables need not be declared or defined in advance, as is the case in many other programming languages. To create a variable, you just assign it a value and then start using it. Assignment is done with a single equals sign (=):

>>> n = 10

This is read or interpreted as “n is assigned the value 10.” Once this is done, n can be used in a statement or expression, and its value will be substituted:

>>> print(n)
10

Just as a literal value can be displayed directly from the interpreter prompt without the need for print(), so can directly call a variable:

>>> n
10

Later, if you change the value of n and use it again, the new value will be substituted instead:

>>> n = 1000
>>> print(n)
1000
>>> n
1000

Python also allows chained assignment, which makes it possible to assign the same value to several variables simultaneously:

>>> a = b = c = 100
>>> print(a, b, c)
100 100 100

Variable Types in Python

Variables in Python are not subject to this restriction.

>>> var = 23.5
>>> print(var)
23.5

>>> var = "Now I'm a string"
>>> print(var)
Now I'm a string

Casting

If you want to specify the data type of a variable, this can be done with casting.

x = str(5)    # x will be '5'
y = int(5)    # y will be 5
z = float(5)  # z will be 5.0

Get the Type

You can get the data type of a variable with the type() function.

x = 50
y = "zach"
print(type(x))
print(type(y))

Conclusion

This tutorial covered the basics of Python variables, including object references and identity, and naming of Python identifiers.

You now have a good understanding of some of Python’s data types and know how to create variables that reference objects of those types.

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