Discover the Python Pass Statement and What it Can Do For Your Software

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Athena Ozanich
Athena Ozanich

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The Python pass statement is like a hall pass at school, it allows you to pass through a block of code without running into trouble.

A young woman discovering the Python pass keyword and how it can be used to improve her software programming process.

This post will teach you the Python pass statement and its use when writing software code. You will also see examples of how you can use it in different situations to help expedite preparing new features with pseudo code.

Let's dive right in!

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What does Pass do in Python?

The Python pass keyword is a unique keyword used to bypass a code block. There are many unique keywords in Python, each with a different function. The pass keyword is the only one that behaves the way it does, and the next closest would be the break keyword. However, the break keyword has limitations that the pass keyword does not have.

The pass keyword often serves as a placeholder for unfinished code that needs testing. Developers can also use it in place of pseudo-code for planning out their software. When the interpreter reads the code in a piece of software and comes across the pass statement, it will ignore everything within the code block and immediately step to the next block.

Python Pass Keyword

The pass keyword works as an excellent placeholder within unfinished blocks of code. It serves the purpose of allowing code to run without throwing errors. If you declare a Python loop or a function with an empty body, the interpreter will throw an error, and the code will likely fail to run correctly. Check out the following video to learn a little more about ho wthis works.

This behavior can be a hassle while writing new code and even more when debugging existing code. Working with the pass keyword is very straightforward and can help improve your coding process. In the next section, let's examine examples of how you can use a pass statement.

Python Pass Statement Examples

The Python pass statement is easy to use and consists of a single keyword placed within the code block you wish to ignore or bypass. Let's look at how you can use this in an empty function to pay the function entirely.

def function(args): pass

That's it, you place the keyword in the block you wish to ignore, and when the code runs, it will bypass the code block. This process is the same for loops and classes. For the sake of completion, let's look at an example of both below.

collection = {'F', 'D', 'M', 'C'} for val in collection: pass

The above line of code would result in a for loop attempting to iterate over the provided collection. However, the instructions within the block dictate that the interpreter should pass the block on the first iteration.

The same is true when using the pass statement in a class block. When the interpreter reaches the class, it will read the pass statement and step out of the class. Let's look at that next.

class cellophane: pass

As far as the interpreter is concerned, this class is cellophane. The class is essentially invisible and will get ignored until the pass statement is removed.

And that is it for this keyword. See, I told you it was simple.

Moving Forward With the Python Pass Statement

The Python pass statement is a straightforward concept easy to use and adds simplicity to your workflow, making it easier than ever to create pseudo-code and plan your software. The best way to learn as much as possible about this statement is to start using it in your software development process. Create some pseudo-code and test it a little at a time using the pass keyword to see what type of results you get.

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Topics: What Is Python?

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