Python Tutorial



Python Tutorial

Comments in Python


Comments in Python are essential for code documentation, readability, and collaboration. They provide valuable insights into the purpose, functionality, and logic of your code, enhancing its comprehensibility for both developers and maintainers. If you are wondering about how to comment in Python, this guide is for you. In this tutorial, we'll explore the advantages of using comments and the various types of comments available in Python.


In this tutorial, we will delve into the world of comments in Python, exploring their diverse advantages. We will also touch upon how comments serve as crucial documentation tools, enhancing code readability, aiding in debugging, promoting collaboration, and ensuring future maintainability. The tutorial will also examine different types of comments and their practical applications within Python code.

What are Comments in Python?

Single Line Comments

Comments in Python are textual annotations within the code that are used to provide explanations, descriptions, or notes about the code. These comments are ignored by the Python interpreter and serve only as documentation for programmers reading the code. 

Python supports two types of comments. Let us check out the two types of comments in python with examples.

  1. Single-line Comments: These are comments that span only a single line and start with a hash symbol (#). Everything following the # symbol on the same line is treated as a comment and is not executed by the interpreter.


# This is a single-line comment
  1. Multi-line Comments (Docstrings): While Python doesn't have a specific syntax for multi-line comments, developers often use multi-line strings (docstrings) enclosed in triple quotes (''' or """) as a convention to write multi-line comments or documentation. Docstrings are typically used for documenting functions, classes, or modules.


This is a multi-line comment or docstring.
It provides detailed information about a function or class.

Why are Comments Important in Programming?

Here are some reasons why comments are extremely important:

  • Code Documentation: Comments serve as a form of documentation that helps developers understand the purpose, functionality, and usage of code. They make the code more readable and maintainable.

  • Communication: Comments facilitate communication among team members. They allow developers to explain their thought process, provide context, and share insights with others who may work on the same codebase.

  • Troubleshooting: Comments can be useful for debugging and troubleshooting. When encountering issues, comments can provide hints and explanations about the code's logic.

  • Compliance: In some cases, code comments are necessary for compliance with coding standards, best practices, or regulatory requirements. 

How to Use Comments in Python?

Here is how we can use comments:

  • Single-line comments are straightforward to use. Simply prefix a line of code with # to make it a comment.


  •  Multi-line comments (docstrings) can span multiple lines and are enclosed in triple quotes (''' or """). These are typically used to document functions, classes, or modules.


How to Write Good Comments in Python?

Let us delve deeper into writing good comments in Python and learn how to effectively use comments while programming:

1. Be Clear and Concise

Comments should be crystal clear and concise, aiming to convey information effectively. Avoid jargon, overly technical terms, or ambiguous language. Think of your comments as a bridge between code and human understanding. Consider the following:

# Bad comment

x = x + 1  # Increment x by 1

# Good comment

x += 1  # Increment x by 1

In the "good comment" example, the purpose of the code is clear without unnecessary redundancy.

2. Use Proper Grammar and Punctuation

Correct grammar and punctuation enhance the readability of your comments. Write comments as complete sentences with appropriate capitalization and punctuation. This practice contributes to professionalism and clarity:

# Bad comment

calculate average  # Missing subject and punctuation

# Good comment

# Calculate the average.  # Complete sentence with punctuation

3. Explain the Why, Not Just the What

Besides explaining what the code does, focus on why it's necessary. Provide context or reasons for specific implementations. This helps readers understand the motivation behind the code:

# Bad comment

result = complex_calculation()  # Calculate result

# Good comment

# Perform a complex calculation to obtain the result needed for financial reporting.
result = complex_calculation()

The "good comment" explains the purpose behind the calculation.

4. Update Comments

As code evolves, comments must evolve with it. Whenever you make changes, remember to update the associated comments. Outdated comments can mislead readers and create confusion:

# Old comment

x = 5  # Initialize x to 5

# After code update

x = 10  # Initialize x to 10

Maintaining up-to-date comments ensures that the code's documentation remains reliable.

5. Avoid Redundancy

Resist the temptation to duplicate information that's already evident from the code itself. Comments should provide additional context or insights that aren't immediately apparent:

# Bad comment

total = price + tax  # Calculate the total price

# Good comment

total = price + tax  # Add tax to the price to determine the total cost

In the "good comment," the explanation adds value by describing the purpose of the calculation.

6. Use Meaningful Variable and Function Names

Choose variable and function names that convey their purpose. Well-named entities reduce the need for extensive comments. Your code becomes self-documenting:

# Bad comment

a = calculate_total(orders)  # Calculate the total of all orders

# Good comment (with meaningful names)

total_orders = calculate_total(order_list)

In the "good comment," meaningful variable and function names make the comment almost unnecessary.

7. Document Edge Cases

Detail how the code handles edge cases, exceptions, or unusual scenarios. This ensures that readers understand the code's robustness and behavior in various situations:

# Bad comment

# Handle errors

# Good comment

# Handle potential division by zero errors when calculating the average.

The "good comment" clarifies what errors are being handled.

8. Follow Style Guides

Consistency is essential, especially in team projects. Adhere to the coding style guidelines of your organization or community. Consistent commenting style includes using consistent comment symbols (# for single-line comments, triple quotes for docstrings) and indentation:

# Bad comment (inconsistent indentation)

def my_function():
   # Do something

# Good comment (consistent indentation)

def my_function():
    # Do something

9. Use Docstrings for Functions and Classes

Leverage docstrings for documenting functions, classes, and modules. Docstrings provide a structured way to explain functionality, parameters, and return values:

def calculate_total(order_list):
    Calculate the total cost of a list of orders.
    order_list (list): A list of order amounts.
    float: The total cost of all orders.
    total = sum(order_list)
    return total

Docstrings offer in-depth documentation and can be accessed using tools like help() and Sphinx for generating documentation.

10. Consider Future Readers

Always write comments with the assumption that someone else, or even your future self, will read and understand the code. Aim for clarity and comprehensibility. Your comments should be a helpful guide to deciphering the code, even years after its initial creation.

String Literals In Python

In Python, string literals enclosed in single or double quotes can also serve as comments, although they are not true comments. These string literals are typically used for documentation purposes. While they don't affect the code's functionality, they can be accessed as attributes of functions, classes, and modules:


def load_data():
    """Load data from a CSV file into a DataFrame."""
    # Actual code for loading data here

String literals can be accessed programmatically, making them useful for generating documentation using tools like Sphinx.

Docstring in Python

Docstrings are a special form of string literal used for documenting functions, classes, and modules. They are more structured than regular comments and are accessed using the help() function or tools like Sphinx for documentation generation. Docstrings are typically enclosed in triple quotes and provide information about the purpose, parameters, return values, and usage of the code entity.


def calculate_discounted_price(original_price, discount):

    Calculate the discounted price of a product.    
    original_price (float): The original price of the product.
    discount (float): The discount percentage (e.g., 20 for 20% off).
    float: The discounted price.
    >>> calculate_discounted_price(100.0, 20.0)
    discounted_price = original_price - (original_price * (discount / 100))
    return discounted_price

Docstrings are considered the most formal and informative way to document Python code, especially for functions and classes.

Advantages of Using Comments in Python 

Let us discuss the advantages of using comments in Python in detail:

1. Code Explanation: Comments provide a means to explain the purpose and functionality of code. They act as documentation within the code itself, helping developers and collaborators understand what the code does. Code can be complex, and comments simplify it by breaking down the logic into understandable segments. This is especially important when dealing with intricate algorithms or business logic.

2. Enhancing Readability: Well-placed comments enhance code readability. Code is not just for the machine; it's also for human developers who need to understand and modify it. Comments label sections of code, making it easier to navigate and locate specific functionality or variables. This is valuable in large projects where codebases can be extensive.

3. Debugging and Troubleshooting: Comments can help in debugging and troubleshooting by providing insights into the code's expected behavior. Developers can compare actual behavior with the comments to identify discrepancies. When errors occur, comments can pinpoint potential issues, making it quicker to isolate and fix problems.

4. Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing: In team projects, comments serve as a communication tool. They allow team members to share information about code segments, making it easier to collaborate effectively. Comments also facilitate knowledge transfer between team members. New developers joining a project can quickly grasp the code's functionality with well-documented comments.

5. Future Maintenance: Code is rarely static; it often undergoes updates and maintenance. Comments help future maintainers understand the original author's intentions and design choices. Developers can confidently modify and extend code without the fear of unintentional side effects because they have a clear understanding of what each part does.

6. Compliance and Best Practices: In regulated industries or projects with coding standards, comments may be required to comply with documentation and quality assurance rules. Following best practices, such as including comments, promotes code quality and consistency across projects.

7. Documentation Generation: Comments, especially docstrings, can be automatically extracted to generate documentation. Tools like Sphinx can create professional documentation from well-structured comments. This documentation can be crucial for project users, API consumers, and other stakeholders.

8. Code Review Assistance: During code reviews, comments can guide reviewers by providing context and explanations. This streamlines the review process and ensures that the code aligns with project requirements and standards.


Comments in Python are not just annotations; they are a fundamental aspect of code development. They serve as a bridge between the code and its human readers, facilitating understanding, collaboration, maintenance, and adherence to best practices and standards. Well-crafted comments contribute to the overall quality and sustainability of software projects.

Python offers several ways to include comments and documentation in your code. Single-line comments (#) are suitable for brief notes, while multi-line comments (using triple-quoted strings) can provide more extensive explanations. String literals can serve as comments but are often used for documentation. However, docstrings are the most structured and recommended way to document functions, classes, and modules, providing detailed information for code users and maintainers.

If you wish to learn more about programming in Python, you can check out the various programs offered by upGrad.


1. What is comment in Python?

Comments are a way of documenting your code. Comments make it easier to troubleshoot and maintain code.

2. How to add comment in Python?

Comments can be added in Python with the help of hash symbol (#) for single-line comments and triple quotes (''' or """) for multi-line comments.

3. Are comments important?

Comments are very important and they increase the readability of your code and help users or other team members debug the code easily.

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