Keyword arguments

Keyword arguments allow us to pass arguments to a function using the name of the argument, rather than relying on the order of the arguments. This provides clarity and flexibility when calling functions, especially when dealing with functions that have many arguments.

To use keyword arguments, you specify the argument name followed by the value you want to pass. Here's an example:

def greet(name, age):
    print("Hello, " + name + "! You are " + str(age) + " years old.")

greet(name="John", age=15)  # Output: Hello, John! You are 15 years old.

In this example, the greet function takes two arguments: name and age. When calling the function, we pass the arguments using their names, followed by the values we want to assign to them. This way, the order of the arguments doesn't matter.

Keyword arguments provide several benefits:

  1. Clarity: By using keyword arguments, it's clear which value corresponds to which parameter, making the code more readable and self-explanatory.
  2. Flexibility: Keyword arguments allow us to selectively pass values for specific parameters, skipping others if needed. This can be useful when a function has many parameters, and you only want to provide values for a subset of them.
  3. Default values: Functions can have default values assigned to their parameters. When using keyword arguments, you can override the default values by explicitly passing different values.

Here's an example with a function that has a default value for one of its parameters:

def greet(name, age=18):
    print("Hello, " + name + "! You are " + str(age) + " years old.")

greet(name="John")  # Output: Hello, John! You are 18 years old.
greet(name="Alice", age=20)  # Output: Hello, Alice! You are 20 years old.

In this code, the age parameter has a default value of 18. When calling the greet function, if we don't provide a value for age, it will use the default value. However, we can override the default value by passing a different value using the keyword argument, e.g. greet(name="Alice", age=20).

Keyword arguments provide flexibility and clarity when working with functions that have multiple parameters. They allow us to pass arguments by name, making your code more readable and easier to understand.

If you need to accept a variable number of arguments in a function, learn about the *args and **kwargs syntax.