Python Variables: Understanding the Fundamentals

In this article, you will learn about the basics of Python variables, including how to declare and use them, and why they’re so important for effective programming.

What is Python Variable?

A variable in Python is a storage location in a computer’s memory that is assigned a value. As a programmer, you can use variables to store data that can be manipulated and processed in a program. The value of a variable can be changed during program execution, which makes it a dynamic and flexible data type.

Important: Once you assign a value to a variable, it becomes a variable. There is no static typing in Python.

Declaring Variables in Python

There is no command for declaring a variable in Python. To declare a variable in Python, you simply need to follow a few simple steps.

First, choose a name for your variable that accurately reflects the data it will contain.

Next, use the assignment operator = to assign a value to the variable.

For example:


x = 8 y = "Elon Musk" print(x) print(y)

In above example, we have created two variables, x and y, with different data types.

  • The first variable, x, is an integer with a value of 8.
  • The second variable, y, is a string with the value “Elon Musk“.

To print the values of these variables, we use the print() function.

  • The first print() statement prints the value of x, which is 8, to the console.
  • The second print() statement prints the value of y, which is “Elon Musk”, to the console.

You don’t need to specify the type of variables in Python as they can change types after being assigned:


mr = 8 # mr is of type int ex = "Sally" # ex is now of type str print(ex)

In this example, we first assigned the value 8 to the variable mr, and since the value is an integer, mr is considered an integer variable. Next, we assigned the string value “Sally” to the variable ex, which means that ex is now a string variable. Finally, we printed the value of ex using the print() function.

Python Variable Casting

When you cast a variable in Python, you are explicitly defining its data type. This can be useful when you need to convert a variable from one type to another.

For example, you might need to convert a string variable to an integer variable so that you can perform a mathematical operation.

To cast a variable in Python, you use built-in functions such as int(), float(), and str().

These functions take a value as an argument and return a new value with the specified data type.

In below example, we’re using casting to convert a value to a specific data type.


m = str(3) # m will occur '3' r = int(3) # r will occur 3 x = float(3) # x will occur 3.0 print(m) print(r) print(x)

Example Explanation

  • First, we use the str() function to convert the integer value 3 to a string. So the variable m will hold the string value ‘3‘.
  • Then we use the int() function to convert the integer value 3 to an integer. Since it’s already an integer, there won’t be any change in value. The variable r will hold the integer value 3.
  • Third, we use the float() function to convert the integer value 3 to a floating-point number. So the variable x will hold the floating-point value 3.0.
  • Finally, we use the print() function to display the values of these variables on the screen. The output will be ‘3’, ‘3’, and ‘3.0’ respectively.

Determine Data type

When using Python, the type() function allows you to determine the data type of a variable.

This can be helpful when working with a large codebase or when debugging.

In below example, we have two variables, m and r, assigned to an integer value of 8 and a string value of “Elon” respectively.

We can use the type() function to determine the data type of each variable.

When we print the output using the print() function, it will show us the data type of each variable:


m = 8 r = "Elon" print(type(m)) print(type(r))

In addition to basic data types like integers and strings, the type() function can also be used to determine the data type of more complex objects, such as lists or dictionaries.

Python Variable Types

In Python, there are several variable types, each with its own specific characteristics and uses. Understanding these types is essential for effective programming in Python.

When working with data in Python, you’ll need to know about variable types. Variable types classify data items and determine what operations can be performed on them. In Python programming, everything is an object, including variables, which are instances of a class.

The following are Python’s standard data types:

  1. Numeric.
  2. Sequence Type.
  3. Boolean.
  4. Set.
  5. Tuple Variables.
  6. Dictionary.

What Is Better, a single quote or a double quote?

Variables that are declared as strings can either be declared as single quotes or double quotes. Both are the preferred ways:


x = "Elon_Musk" # Or x = 'Elon_Musk' print (x)

Case Sensitive

As far as Python is concerned, variable names are case-sensitive.

This will create two variables:


a = 4 A = "Sally" #A has a value Sally and a has digit 4 – both are different variables. print( a ) print( A )

Python Output Variables

When outputting variables in Python, the print statement is often used.

Python uses the + character to combine text and variables:


a = "Twitter" print("Elon Musk Is CEO Of " + a)

The + character can also be used to add variables to another variable in Python:


a = "Twitter is " b = "Own by Elon Musk" c = a + b print(c)

The + character works as a mathematical operator for numbers:


a = 3 b = 7 print(a + b)

Python will give you an error message if you try to combine a string and a number:


a = 3 b = "Elon" print(a + b)

Python Variables Guidelines

When naming Python variables, there are some conventions that you should follow to make your code more readable and understandable.

Here are some best practices for naming Python variables:

  1. You must begin a variable name with a letter or an underscore.
  2. There can be no number at the beginning of a variable name.
  3. In variable names, alpha-numeric characters and underscores (A-z, 0-9, and _) are allowed.
  4. elon_musk, Elon_Musk, and ELON_MUSK are three different variables (Python variables are case-sensitive).
  5. A variable cannot be named using reserved words (keywords).

Python Variable Uses

The uses of the Python Variables are as follow:

  1. Variables are used to store data of various types such as numbers, strings, lists, dictionaries, and more. These values can be accessed and manipulated throughout your code.
  2. Variables are used to perform arithmetic operations, string concatenation, list manipulation, and other data manipulations. You can assign values to variables and use them in mathematical or logical operations.
  3. Variables play a role in controlling the flow of execution in your code. They can hold Boolean values (True or False) to determine the outcome of conditional statements such as if, else, and elif. Based on the value of a variable, specific sections of code can be executed.
  4. Variables are often used in loops to iterate over data structures or repeat a set of instructions for a specific number of times. Variables can act as counters or temporary storage during each iteration.
  5. Variables are used as parameters in function definitions to pass values into functions. They allow you to provide input data for the function’s calculations or operations. Additionally, variables are used as return values from functions to provide output or processed data back to the calling code.
  6.  Variables have different scopes within a program, and they help manage data within specific contexts. Variables can have local scope within a function, global scope accessible throughout the program, or scope limited to a specific code block.
  7. Variables can be used to store configuration values or settings that can be easily modified or accessed. This allows for flexible program behavior without hard-coding specific values.


Python variables provide a flexible and dynamic means to store and manipulate data in a program. In Python variables can store data of different types, and you don’t need to declare the data type explicitly. By following some best practices for naming variables, you can make your code more readable and understandable. We hope this article has provided you with a good understanding of Python variables and their importance in programming.

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