Python is one of the most popular programming languages today, thanks to its simplicity and versatility. One of the essential features of Python is its ability to define and use **functions**. Functions are reusable blocks of code that perform specific tasks. They take inputs, process them, and produce outputs. In this article, we will focus on the use of return statements in **Python functions** to get desired outputs.

## Returning a Value from a Function

A return statement is used to send a value or values back to the caller of a function. The syntax for defining a simple function that returns a value is as follows:

```
def add_numbers(a, b):
return a + b
```

In this example, the `add_numbers`

function takes two inputs, `a`

and `b`

, adds them together, and then returns the result of the addition. To call this function, you would simply pass in two numbers as arguments, like this:

```
result = add_numbers(2, 3)
print(result) # Output: 5
```

Here, we passed in 2 and 3 as arguments to the `add_numbers`

function, which returned 5, and we stored the result in the `result`

variable. We then printed the value of `result`

, which was 5.

## Multiple Return Statements in a Function

Functions can have multiple return statements, which allow you to return different values based on certain conditions. Here's an example:

```
def check_number(num):
if num > 0:
return "Positive"
elif num == 0:
return "Zero"
else:
return "Negative"
```

In this example, the `check_number`

function takes a single input, `num`

, and returns a string based on whether `num`

is positive, zero, or negative. To call this function, you would pass in a number as an argument, like this:

```
result = check_number(-5)
print(result) # Output: Negative
```

Here, we passed in -5 as an argument to the `check_number`

function, which returned "Negative", and we stored the result in the `result`

variable. We then printed the value of `result`

, which was "Negative".

## Using the Return Value of a Function

Once a function has returned a value, you can use that value in various ways. Here are a few examples:

### Assigning the return value to a variable

```
def square(num):
return num**2
result = square(5)
print(result) # Output: 25
```

In this example, we defined a function called `square`

that takes a single input, `num`

, and returns the square of `num`

. We then called the function with an argument of 5, which returned 25. We stored the returned value in the `result`

variable and printed it.

### Using the return value in an expression

```
def add_numbers(a, b):
return a + b
result = add_numbers(2, 3) * 2
print(result) # Output: 10
```

In this example, we defined a function called `add_numbers`

that takes two inputs, `a`

and `b`

, adds them together, and returns the result of the addition. We then called the function with arguments of 2 and 3, which returned 5. We multiplied the returned value by 2 and stored it in the `result`

variable, which we then printed.

### Using the return value as an argument to another function

```
def square(num):
return num**2
def add_numbers(a, b):
return a + b
result = add_numbers(square(2), square(3))
print(result) # Output: 13
```

In this example, we defined two functions called `square`

and `add_numbers`

. The `square`

function takes a single input, `num`

, and returns the square of `num`

, while the `add_numbers`

function takes two inputs, `a`

and `b`

, adds them together, and returns the result of the addition. We then called the `add_numbers`

function with arguments of the square of 2 and the square of 3, which returned 13. We stored the returned value in the `result`

variable, which we then printed.

## Conclusion

In this article, we've covered the basics of using return statements in Python functions to get desired

outputs. We've learned how to return a value from a function, use multiple return statements in a function, and use the return value of a function in various ways.

Return statements are an essential part of **Python functions** and programming in general. They allow us to encapsulate complex logic into reusable blocks of code that can be easily called from other parts of our program. As you continue to learn Python, you will encounter more complex uses of return statements, such as returning lists, dictionaries, and even objects.

We hope that this article has helped you understand the basics of using return statements in **Python functions**. Keep practicing and experimenting with different types of functions and return statements, and soon you'll be writing your own Python programs like a pro!