Python Programming

Python Variables, Constants and Literals

In this tutorial, you will learn about Python variables, constants, literals and their use cases.

Python Variables

A variable is a named location used to store data in the memory. It is helpful to think of variables as a container that holds data that can be changed later in the program. For example,

number = 10

Here, we have created a variable named number. We have assigned the value 10 to the variable.

You can think of variables as a bag to store books in it and that book can be replaced at any time.

number = 10
number = 1.1

Initially, the value of number was 10. Later, it was changed to 1.1.

Note: In Python, we don’t actually assign values to the variables. Instead, Python gives the reference of the object(value) to the variable.

Assigning values to Variables in Python

As you can see from the above example, you can use the assignment operator = to assign a value to a variable.

Example 1: Declaring and assigning value to a variable

website = ""


In the above program, we assigned a value to the variable website. Then, we printed out the value assigned to website i.e.

Note: Python is a type-inferred language, so you don’t have to explicitly define the variable type. It automatically knows that is a string and declares the website variable as a string.

Example 2: Changing the value of a variable

website = ""

# assigning a new value to website
website = ""



In the above program, we have assigned to the website variable initially. Then, the value is changed to

Example 3: Assigning multiple values to multiple variables

a, b, c = 5, 3.2, "Hello"

print (a)
print (b)
print (c)

If we want to assign the same value to multiple variables at once, we can do this as:

x = y = z = "same"

print (x)
print (y)
print (z)

The second program assigns the same string to all the three variables x, y and z.


A constant is a type of variable whose value cannot be changed. It is helpful to think of constants as containers that hold information which cannot be changed later.

You can think of constants as a bag to store some books which cannot be replaced once placed inside the bag.

Assigning value to constant in Python

In Python, constants are usually declared and assigned in a module. Here, the module is a new file containing variables, functions, etc which is imported to the main file. Inside the module, constants are written in all capital letters and underscores separating the words.

Example 3: Declaring and assigning value to a constant

Create a

PI = 3.14

Create a

import constant




In the above program, we create a module file. Then, we assign the constant value to PI and GRAVITY. After that, we create a file and import the constant module. Finally, we print the constant value.

Note: In reality, we don’t use constants in Python. Naming them in all capital letters is a convention to separate them from variables, however, it does not actually prevent reassignment.

Rules and Naming Convention for Variables and constants

  1. Constant and variable names should have a combination of letters in lowercase (a to z) or uppercase (
    A to Z
    ) or digits (
    0 to 9
    ) or an underscore (
    ). For example:

  2. Create a name that makes sense. For example,
    makes more sense than
  3. If you want to create a variable name having two words, use underscore to separate them. For example:

  4. Use capital letters possible to declare a constant. For example:

  5. Never use special symbols like !, @, #, $, %, etc.
  6. Don’t start a variable name with a digit.


Literal is a raw data given in a variable or constant. In Python, there are various types of literals they are as follows:

Numeric Literals

Numeric Literals are immutable (unchangeable). Numeric literals can belong to 3 different numerical types: Integer, Float, and Complex.

Example 4: How to use Numeric literals in Python?

a = 0b1010 #Binary Literals
b = 100 #Decimal Literal 
c = 0o310 #Octal Literal
d = 0x12c #Hexadecimal Literal

#Float Literal
float_1 = 10.5 
float_2 = 1.5e2

#Complex Literal 
x = 3.14j

print(a, b, c, d)
print(float_1, float_2)
print(x, x.imag, x.real)


10 100 200 300
10.5 150.0
3.14j 3.14 0.0

In the above program,

  • We assigned integer literals into different variables. Here,
    is binary literal,
    is a decimal literal,
    is an octal literal and
    is a hexadecimal literal.
  • When we print the variables, all the literals are converted into decimal values.

  • 10.5



    are floating-point literals.


    is expressed with exponential and is equivalent to

    1.5 * 10


  • We assigned a complex literal i.e


    in variable
    . Then we use
    literal (x.imag) and
    literal (x.real) to create imaginary and real parts of complex numbers.

To learn more about Numeric Literals, refer to Python Numbers.

String literals

A string literal is a sequence of characters surrounded by quotes. We can use both single, double, or triple quotes for a string. And, a character literal is a single character surrounded by single or double quotes.

Example 7: How to use string literals in Python?

strings = "This is Python"
char = "C"
multiline_str = """This is a multiline string with more than one line code."""
unicode = u"\u00dcnic\u00f6de"
raw_str = r"raw \n string"



This is Python
This is a multiline string with more than one line code.
raw \n string

In the above program, This is Python is a string literal and C is a character literal.

The value in triple-quotes “”” assigned to the multiline_str is a multi-line string literal.

The string u”\u00dcnic\u00f6de” is a Unicode literal which supports characters other than English. In this case, \u00dc represents Ü and \u00f6 represents ö.

r”raw \n string” is a raw string literal.

Boolean literals

A Boolean literal can have any of the two values: True or False.

Example 8: How to use boolean literals in Python?

x = (1 == True)
y = (1 == False)
a = True + 4
b = False + 10

print("x is", x)
print("y is", y)
print("a:", a)
print("b:", b)


x is True
y is False
a: 5
b: 10

In the above program, we use boolean literal True and False. In Python, True represents the value as 1 and False as 0. The value of x is True because 1 is equal to True. And, the value of y is False because 1 is not equal to False.

Similarly, we can use the True and False in numeric expressions as the value. The value of a is 5 because we add True which has a value of 1 with 4. Similarly, b is 10 because we add the False having value of 0 with 10.

Special literals

Python contains one special literal i.e. None. We use it to specify that the field has not been created.

Example 9: How to use special literals in Python?

drink = "Available"
food = None

def menu(x):
    if x == drink:




In the above program, we define a menu function. Inside menu, when we set the argument as drink then, it displays Available. And, when the argument is food, it displays None.

Literal Collections

There are four different literal collections List literals, Tuple literals, Dict literals, and Set literals.

Example 10: How to use literals collections in Python?

fruits = ["apple", "mango", "orange"] #list
numbers = (1, 2, 3) #tuple
alphabets = {'a':'apple', 'b':'ball', 'c':'cat'} #dictionary
vowels = {'a', 'e', 'i' , 'o', 'u'} #set



['apple', 'mango', 'orange']
(1, 2, 3)
{'a': 'apple', 'b': 'ball', 'c': 'cat'}
{'e', 'a', 'o', 'i', 'u'}

In the above program, we created a list of fruits, a tuple of numbers, a dictionary dict having values with keys designated to each value and a set of vowels.

To learn more about literal collections, refer to Python Data Types.


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