Python Exceptions Information

A Python program ends when it experiences a mistake. In Python, a mistake can be a grammar blunder or a special case. In this article, you will perceive what an exemption is and how it varies from a punctuation mistake. From that point forward, you will find out about raising special cases and making declarations. At that point, you’ll complete with an exhibition of the attempt and aside from square.


Exceptions versus Syntax Errors

Syntax errors occur when the parser detects an incorrect statement. Observe the following example:

The arrow indicates where the parser ran into the syntax error. In this example, there was one bracket too many. Remove it and run your code again:

This time, you kept running into a special case mistake. This kind of mistake happens at whatever point grammatically adjust Python code brings about a blunder. The last line of the message showed what sort of special case mistake you kept running into.

Instead of showing the message exception error, Python details what type of exception error was encountered. In this case, it was a ZeroDivisionError. Python comes with various built-in exceptions as well as the possibility to create self-defined exceptions.

Raising an Exception

We can use raise to throw an exception if a condition occurs. The statement can be complemented with a custom exception.


If you want to throw an error when a certain condition occurs using raise, you could go about it like this:

When you run this code, the output will be the following:

The program comes to a halt and displays our exception to screen, offering clues about what went wrong.

The AssertionError Exception

Instead of waiting for a program to crash midway, you can also start by making an assertion in Python. We assert that a certain condition is met. If this condition turns out to be True, then that is excellent! The program can continue. If the condition turns out to be False, you can have the program throw an AssertionError exception.


Have a look at the following example, where it is asserted that the code will be executed on a Linux system:

If you run this code on a Linux machine, the assertion passes. If you were to run this code on a Windows machine, the outcome of the assertion would be False and the result would be the following:

In this example, throwing an AssertionError exception is the last thing that the program will do. The program will come to halt and will not continue. What if that is not what you want?

The try and except Block: Handling Exceptions

The try and except block in Python is used to catch and handle exceptions. Python executes code following the try statement as a “normal” part of the program. The code that follows the except statement is the program’s response to any exceptions in the preceding try clause.

try and except

As you saw earlier, when syntactically correct code runs into an error, Python will throw an exception error. This exception error will crash the program if it is unhandled. The except clause determines how your program responds to exceptions.

The following function can help you understand the try and except block:

The linux_interaction() can only run on a Linux system. The assert in this function will throw an AssertionError exception if you call it on an operating system other then Linux.

You can give the function a try using the following code:

The way you handled the error here is by handing out a pass. If you were to run this code on a Windows machine, you would get the following output:

You got nothing. The good thing here is that the program did not crash. But it would be nice to see if some type of exception occurred whenever you ran your code. To this end, you can change the pass into something that would generate an informative message, like so:

Execute this code on a Windows machine:

At the point when a special case happens in a program running this capacity, the program will proceed and additionally advise you about the way that the capacity call was not fruitful.

What you didn’t get the opportunity to see was the sort of blunder that was tossed because of the capacity call. With a specific end goal to see precisely what turned out badly, you would need to get the mistake that the capacity tossed.

The following code is an example where you capture the AssertionError and output that message to screen:

Running this function on a Windows machine outputs the following:

The first message is the AssertionError, informing you that the function can only be executed on a Linux machine. The second message tells you which function was not executed.

In the previous example, you called a function that you wrote yourself. When you executed the function, you caught the AssertionError exception and printed it to screen.

Here’s another example where you open a file and use a built-in exception:

If file.log does not exist, this block of code will output the following:

This is an informative message, and our program will still continue to run. In the Python docs, you can see that there are a lot of built-in exceptions that you can use here. One exception described on that page is the following:

Exception FileNotFoundError

Raised when a file or directory is requested but doesn’t exist. Corresponds to errno ENOENT.

To catch this type of exception and print it to screen, you could use the following code:

In this case, if file.log does not exist, the output will be the following:

You can have more than one function call in your try clause and anticipate catching various exceptions. A thing to note here is that the code in the try clause will stop as soon as an exception is encountered.

Look at the following code. Here, you first call the linux_interaction() function and then try to open a file:

If the file does not exist, running this code on a Windows machine will output the following:

Inside the try clause, you ran into an exception immediately and did not get to the part where you attempt to open file.log. Now look at what happens when you run the code on a Linux machine:

Here are the key takeaways:

  • A try clause is executed up until the point where the first exception is encountered.
  • Inside the except clause, or the exception handler, you determine how the program responds to the exception.
  • You can anticipate multiple exceptions and differentiate how the program should respond to them.
  • Avoid using bare except clauses.

The else Clause

In Python, using the else statement, you can instruct a program to execute a certain block of code only in the absence of exceptions.

try except else

Look at the following example:

If you were to run this code on a Linux system, the output would be the following:

Because the program did not run into any exceptions, the else clause was executed.

You can also try to run code inside the else clause and catch possible exceptions there as well:

If you were to execute this code on a Linux machine, you would get the following result:

From the output, you can see that the linux_interaction() function ran. Because no exceptions were encountered, an attempt to open file.log was made. That file did not exist, and instead of opening the file, you caught the FileNotFoundError exception.

Tidying Up After Using finally

Imagine that you always had to implement some sort of action to clean up after executing your code. Python enables you to do so using the finally clause.

try except else finally

Have a look at the following example:

In the previous code, everything in the finally clause will be executed. It does not matter if you encounter an exception somewhere in the try or else clauses. Running the previous code on a Windows machine would output the following:

Summing Up

After seeing the difference between syntax errors and exceptions, you learned about various ways to raise, catch, and handle exceptions in Python. In this article, you saw the following options:

  • raise allows you to throw an exception at any time.
  • assert enables you to verify if a certain condition is met and throw an exception if it isn’t.
  • In the try clause, all statements are executed until an exception is encountered.
  • except is used to catch and handle the exception(s) that are encountered in the try clause.
  • else lets you code sections that should run only when no exceptions are encountered in the try clause.
  • finally enables you to execute sections of code that should always run, with or without any previously encountered exceptions.

Hopefully, this article helped you understand the basic tools that Python has to offer when dealing with exceptions.

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