Python Return Statement Tutorial

In this section, we will learn what the return statement is and how to use it in Python.

Note: we’re assuming you’re familiar with functions in Python.

return Statement in Python

A function is capable of returning a value as a result of calling it.

This means we can create a function to, for example, take two or more arguments and add the entire arguments together and return the final result.

The returning part is done using the `return` statement.

Python return Statement Declaration

The `return` keyword in Python is used to create a statement in a function that will cause:

  1. It will terminate the target function call.
  2. It will return a value as a result to the caller.

This is how we create a return statement in Python functions:

return value

Where value in the statement above is the object that should be returned to the caller (the place where the call to the function occurred. (Note that objects will stay in the memory and only their pointer will return using the `return` statement! Basically, a copy of that object won’t return)

Also, remember that any statement after the `return` statement will be ignored because the `return` statement acts as the terminator of a function and so the execution engines won’t check other statements after a call to the `return`.

Example: using return statement in Python

def add(val1, val2):
    return val1 + val2

res = add(20, 30)




Here the, `add` function takes two arguments, add them together and returns the final value as the result of calling this function.

See that the call to the `add()` function occurred on the right side of the assignment `=` operator. After calling the `add()` function, the return value of this function will replace the call and so the `res` variable will take the return value of this function.

Multiple return Statement in Python

Within the body of a function, we can set the `return` statement multiple times in multiple places! This is mainly happening when in that function there are multiple conditional statements (created via if statement, for example) and so we can put a return statement within each of those conditional statements if needed.

Again, even though we can put multiple return statements within a function, only one call to this statement is needed to terminate the function and return the result.

Example: using multiple return statement in Python

In the example below, we’re about to use `if-elif-else` statements. If you’re not familiar with these statements, it’s fine for now. Skip this section and move on to other lessons. In the if-else section, we will get back to this topic and you’ll learn about them.

def add(val1, val2):
    if val1 >100:
        return 100+val2
    elif val2>300:
        return 200+val1
        return 500

res = add(20, 30)




Python Return Multiple Values

The return statement can return any type of object. This includes lists, tuple etc. where the object contains multiple values in its body.

Note: the list and tuple are explained in later sections.

Example: returning multiple values in Python

def listFunc():
    li = [1,2,3,4,5,6]
    return li

res = listFunc()


[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

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