How Do You Find the Data Type of a Variable in Python?


Larry Thompson

When working with Python, it is important to know the data type of a variable. The data type determines the kind of values that can be stored in a variable and the operations that can be performed on it. In Python, there are several built-in data types such as int, float, str, list, tuple, and more.

Using the type() Function

To find the data type of a variable in Python, you can use the type() function. This function takes an object as its argument and returns its data type. Here’s an example:

x = 5
print(type(x))  # Output: <class 'int'>

In this example, we declared a variable x and assigned it the value 5. We then used the type() function to determine its data type, which is int. The output displayed is <class 'int'>.

Data Type Conversion

Sometimes, you may need to convert a variable from one data type to another. Python provides built-in functions for this purpose, such as:

  • int(): converts a value to an integer.
  • float(): converts a value to a floating-point number.
  • str(): converts a value to a string.
  • list(): converts a value to a list.
  • tuple(): converts a value to a tuple.

Here’s an example that demonstrates data type conversion:

x = "10"
print(type(x))  # Output: <class 'str'>

y = int(x)
print(type(y))  # Output: <class 'int'>

In this example, we have a variable x with the value “10” which is of type str. We then use the int() function to convert it into an integer. The resulting variable y has the value 10 and is of type int.

The isinstance() Function

In addition to the type() function, Python also provides the isinstance() function to check if a variable is of a specific data type. This function takes two arguments: the variable and the data type to check against. It returns True if the variable is of the specified data type, and False otherwise.

x = 5
print(isinstance(x, int))  # Output: True
print(isinstance(x, str))  # Output: False

In this example, we use the isinstance() function to check if the variable x is of type int. Since it is indeed an integer, the output is True. When we check if it is of type str, which it isn’t, the output is False.

Knowing the data type of a variable is crucial when working with Python as it allows you to perform appropriate operations and manipulate the data effectively. The type() and isinstance() functions are valuable tools for determining data types and ensuring the correct usage of variables in your Python programs.

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