Lesson 1

Decoding Python Error Messages: A Beginner's Guide


Hello! Our journey today focuses on unraveling Python error messages. We'll explore these error messages, their structure, and their common types. Let's dive in!

An Overview of Python Error Messages

When Python encounters a non-executable code, it displays error messages. Similar to a guide in a treasure hunt, Python directs your coding voyage. Have you ever prepared a new recipe and made mistakes? You correct by reading — that's debugging! Python's errors serve as your coding recipe.

Structure of Python Error Messages

Python error messages comprise:

  1. Type: The error's category.
  2. Location: The code area where the error transpired.
  3. Description: Details about the error.

Consider this code error:

The code:

1print("Hello, World!"

The error:

1 File "solution.py", line 1 2 print("Hello, World!" 3 ^ 4SyntaxError: unexpected EOF while parsing

Here, we have a SyntaxError at line 1. The description talks about an unexpected EOF (End Of File), suggesting a missing parenthesis.

For this error:

  • Type is SyntaxError
  • Location is line 1
  • Description is unexpected EOF while parsing

Every error will contain these attributes that help you understand what's going wrong.

Understanding Common Python Errors

Now, let's delve into four common types of errors:

  1. SyntaxError: Occurs with incorrect code syntax, such as a missing closing parenthesis.

For example,

1fruits = ['apples', 'kiwi', 'oranges'


1SyntaxError: '[' was never closed
  1. NameError: Occurs when Python encounters an unknown name. An undefined variable triggers a NameError.

For example,



1NameError: name 'score' is not defined

As the variable score is not defined.

  1. ValueError: Evident when a function receives an inappropriate value. Converting a non-numeric string to an integer raises a ValueError.

For example,



1ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10: '100abc'
  1. TypeError: Arises when a function operates on an incorrect type. Adding a string and a number causes a TypeError.

For example,

1"100" + 100


1TypeError: can only concatenate str (not "int") to str

specifying that the string cannot be concatenated with an integer.

All error messages will also provide the Type, Location, and Description.

Lesson Summary

Great job! You've learned about Python error messages, their structure, and four common error types. Now, you're well-equipped to read and understand basic Python error messages.

Prepare yourself for hands-on exercises! You'll encounter these error messages, ascertain, comprehend, and rectify them. Happy debugging!

Enjoy this lesson? Now it's time to practice with Cosmo!

Practice is how you turn knowledge into actual skills.