Difference Between Methods and Functions in Python

Difference Between Methods and Functions in Python

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Vikram
Vikram Singh
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on Sep 7, 2023 17:41 IST

In Python, methods and functions have similar purposes but differ in important ways. Functions are independent blocks of code that can be called from anywhere, while methods are tied to objects or classes and need an object or class instance to be invoked. Functions promote code reusability, while methods offer behavior specific to objects. Functions are called by name, while methods are accessed using dot notation. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for writing organized, modular code in Python and harnessing the full power of methods and functions in various programming scenarios.

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Table of Content

Method vs. Function: Difference Between Methods and Function

Parameter Method Function
definition  Method definitions are always present inside a class. No class is needed to define a function.
Association Associated with the class object. Not associated with any objects.
Call It is called on an object. It is called by its name.
Dependency It depends on the class they belong to. It doesn’t depend on any class, i.e., it is an identical entity.
self It requires the self as its first argument. It doesn’t require any self-argument.
operation It operates on the data of the object it associates with. It operates on the data that you pass to them as an argument.
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What are Functions in Python?

A function is a block of code (or statement) that performs a specific task and runs only when it is called. There are mainly two types of functions in Python.

Must Read: Functions in Python

Types of Functions:

  • Built-in Function: Built-in functions are the pre-defined function in Python that can be directly used.
  • User-Defined Function: They are not pre-defined functions. The user creates their own function to fulfill their specific needs.

 
def function_name(arguments):
“ “ “
functions logics
” ” ”
return values
Copy code

Example:


 
#Define a function
def factorial(n):
return 1 if (n==1 or n==0) else n * factorial(n-1);
#Enter input
n = int(input("Enter input number : "))
print("The factorial of",n,"is",factorial(n))
Copy code

Must Check: How to find Factorial of a Number using Python

Must Check: def() Keyword in Python

Recursion Function in Python count() Function in Python
len() Function in Python float() Function in Python
range() Function in Python lambda() Function in Python

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What are Methods in Python?

As Python is an Object-Oriented Programming language, so it contains objects, and these objects have different properties and behavior. Methods in Python are used to define the behavior of the python objects.

  • It facilitates code reusability by creating various methods or functions in the program.
  • It also improves readability and accessibility to a particular code block.
  • Methods creation makes it easy to debug for the programmers.

Syntax


 
class ClassName:
def method_name():
…………..
# Method_body
………………
Copy code

Example:


 
class Employee(object):
def my_method(self):
print("I am Vikram")
name = Employee()
name.my_method()
Copy code
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Types of Methods in Python:

  • Instance Method
  • Class Method
  • Static Method

Must Read: Introduction to Generators in Python

Must Read: Classes and Objects in Python

 

Key Difference Between Methods and Function

  • Method definition is always present inside the class, while the class is not required to define the function.
  • Functions can have a zero parameter, whereas the method should have a default parameter, either self or cls, to get the object.
  • The method operates the data in the class, while a function is used to return or pass the data.
  • A function can be directly called by its name, while a method can’t be called by its name.
  • The method lies under Object-Oriented Programming, while a function is an independent functionality.

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed the functions and methods in Python, the difference between them, and their types. A function is a block of code (or statement) that performs a specific task and runs only when it is called. In contrast, methods in python are used to define the behavior of python object.
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FAQs

What are Methods in Python?

As Python is an Object-Oriented Programming language, so it contains objects, and these objects have different properties and behavior. Methods in Python are used to define the behavior of the python objects. It facilitates code reusability by creating various methods or functions in the program. It also improves readability and accessibility to a particular code block. Methods creation makes it easy to debug for the programmers.

What are different types of methods in Python?

There are three different types of methods in python: Instance Methods, Class Method and Static Method,

What are Functions in Python?

A function is a block of code (or statement) that performs a specific task and runs only when it is called. There are mainly three types of functions in Python.

What are the different types of Function in Python?

Built-in Function: Built-in functions are the pre-defined function in Python that can be directly used. User-Defined Function: They are not pre-defined functions. The user creates their own function to fulfill their specific needs.

What is the difference between Methods and Function in Python?

Method definition is always present inside the class, while the class is not required to define the function. Functions can have a zero parameter, whereas the method should have a default parameter, either self or cls, to get the object. The method operates the data in the class, while a function is used to return or pass the data. A function can be directly called by its name, while a method can't be called by its name. The method lies under Object-Oriented Programming, while a function is an independent functionality.

Can methods and functions have different parameters in Python?

Yes, both methods and functions in Python can have parameters. Parameters are defined within the parentheses after the function or method name. Functions can have parameters of any type, including positional parameters, keyword parameters, and default parameter values. Methods, in addition to other parameters, always have a mandatory first parameter conventionally named self. This parameter represents the instance of the class and allows the method to access and manipulate its attributes.

Are methods and functions used differently in Python?

Functions in Python are generally used for independent tasks or reusable blocks of code that are not specific to any particular object or class. Methods are used to perform actions that are specific to a particular object or class. They encapsulate behavior associated with the object's data and are called on instances of the class to manipulate or retrieve that data.

Can functions access class attributes in Python?

Functions defined outside of a class cannot directly access class attributes, as they are not associated with any specific class or object. Methods defined within a class can access the class attributes using the self parameter, which represents the instance of the class. They can read and modify the attributes of the class within the method body.

About the Author
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Vikram Singh
Assistant Manager - Content

Vikram has a Postgraduate degree in Applied Mathematics, with a keen interest in Data Science and Machine Learning. He has experience of 2+ years in content creation in Mathematics, Statistics, Data Science, and Mac... Read Full Bio

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