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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
SyntaxError Return Outside Function
3.
Syntax Error
3.1.
Python
3.2.
Return Outside Function Python SyntaxError
3.3.
Python
3.4.
Python
3.5.
Return Outside Function Python SyntaxError Due to Indentation
3.6.
Return Value Outside Function Due to Looping
3.7.
Python
4.
Frequently asked questions
4.1.
How many types of errors are there in Python? 
4.2.
What is syntax outside function?
4.3.
Can you use return outside of a function?
4.4.
Does return in Python exit the function?
4.5.
What is the syntax for returning a value from a function in Python?
5.
Conclusion 
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Syntax Error: Return Outside Function in Python

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Introduction

For a long time,Python has been a very well-liked programming language. This is primarily because of its adaptability and simple syntax. Python can be used in almost any area of software development. 

We are assuming that you must have written some amazing codes in python. But, have you ever encountered an Indentation error in your code? 

python

This article will guide you through the syntaxerror return outside function in python. Also, it will clear all your doubts regarding the same. 

So, let us start understanding the syntaxerror return outside function:

SyntaxError Return Outside Function

Errors are problems that occur in a code because of an illegal operation performed by the user or a programming error that halts the normal flow of the program. Errors are also known as bugs or faults.

In Python programming, there are two types of errors. 

  1. Syntax Error 
  2. Logical Error 


In this article, we will be looking for SyntaxError Return Outside Function. 

So, what exactly are Syntax Errors in python? 

Also check out Python Square Root here.

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Syntax Error

A syntax error is one of the most fundamental types of programming errors. The syntax error simply indicates that the Python parser is unable to understand a line of code. When we do not write the proper syntax of the Python programming language (or any other language), the Python interpreter throws a syntax error.

Let us take an example to find whether a number is even or odd: 

  • Python

Python

number = 89
if number&1 == 0
 print("Number is even")
else:
   print("Number is odd")


Output

output

As we have missed the colon: the python interpreter is throwing a syntax error of invalid syntax. 

Now, let us discuss the types of Syntax errors: 

  • putting a keyword in the wrong place
  • empty block
  • misspelling a keyword
  • missing or wrong brackets
  • Invalid Syntax 
  • leaving out a keyword
  • Return Outside Function 
  • incorrect indentation
  • leaving out a symbol, such as a comma, colon or brackets
     

As the name suggests, we are going to discuss SyntaxError Return Outside Function in python: 

Check out Escape Sequence in Python
 

Return Outside Function Python SyntaxError

This syntax error is simply an Indentation error; it occurs when the indent or return function does not align to the indent of the defined function.

Let us understand with an example: 

  • Python

Python

# Function to return the result of multiplication of two numbers
def func(a, b):
 # Print the value of a*b
 mul = a * b
return(mul)

# Print values in list
print('Multiplication: ', func(10, 34));


Output

output

You can compile it with online python compiler.

Explanation

output

How to correct this? 

Let us see: 

Corrected Code

  • Python

Python

# Function to return the result of multiplication of two numbers
def func(a, b):
 # Print the value of a*b
 mul = a * b
 return(mul)
# Print values in list
print('Multiplication: ', func(10, 34));


Output

output

Explanation

explanation

Return Outside Function Python SyntaxError Due to Indentation

In Python, a return statement must be inside the body of a function. If a return statement is encountered outside a function, Python will raise a SyntaxError because it expects the statement to be within the scope of a function. This error occurs due to incorrect indentation.

Here's a brief explanation:

  • Return Statement: The return statement is used in Python to exit a function and return a value to the caller.
  • Inside Function Body: A return statement should be indented to the same level as other statements within the function body.
  • Outside Function Body: Placing a return statement outside any function's body results in a SyntaxError because Python doesn't understand where it should return to.

For example:

def my_function():
   result = 10
   # Inside the function body, correct indentation
return result  
print(my_function())

 

In the example, return is correctly used within the function my_function(), but it's wrongly placed outside the function. Python expects all executable code to be within function definitions or appropriately scoped blocks.

Return Value Outside Function Due to Looping

This error can occur if you mistakenly place a return statement within a loop outside of any function. For example:

for item in some_list:
   # Some condition
   return item  # This will raise an error

 

Ensure that your return statement is within a function. If you intend to return a value from within a loop, you should first collect the values within the loop and then return them outside of the loop, within the function scope.

Here's an example illustrating this:

def process_list(some_list):
  result = []
  for item in some_list:
      result.append(item)
return result 
  
my_list = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
processed_list = process_list(my_list)
print(processed_list)

 

This code will throw an error:

File "<string>", line 5
SyntaxError: 'return' outside function

 

So, to fix this we need to take care of the return statement:

  • Python

Python

def process_list(some_list):
result = []
for item in some_list:
result.append(item)
return result

my_list = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
processed_list = process_list(my_list)
print(processed_list)

Output

[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

 

This code collects items from some_list based on certain conditions and returns them as a list. Ensure that your return statements are properly structured within functions and not placed outside of them or within loops without being inside a function.

Check out this article - Quicksort Python.

Frequently asked questions

How many types of errors are there in Python? 

There are two types of errors in Python programming: Syntax and Logical. 

What is syntax outside function?

Syntax outside function refers to code written outside the scope of a function, where Python expects statements to be within function definitions.

Can you use return outside of a function?

No, 'return' can't be used outside a function in Python; it's confined to functions for sending back a value.

Does return in Python exit the function?

Yes, 'return' in Python exits the function, returning a value if specified.

What is the syntax for returning a value from a function in Python?

The syntax for returning a value in Python is 'return value', placed within the function's scope.

Conclusion 

To wrap up the article, we have extensively discussed the SyntaxError Return Outside Function in python. 

After reading the article, do you feel more excited to read/explore more articles on Python? Don't worry; Coding Ninjas has you covered. See Exception & Errors in PythonShort-Circuiting in PythonLambda Function in Python, and File Handling in Python.

Recommended Readings:

Refer to our Guided Path on Coding Ninjas Studio to upskill yourself in Python programming language, Competitive ProgrammingJavaScriptSystem Design, and many more! If you want to test your competency in coding, check out the mock test series and participate in the contests hosted on Coding Ninjas Studio! But you have just started your learning process and are looking for questions from tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, Uber, etc. In that case, you must look at the problems, interview experiences, and interview bundle for placement preparations.

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