I’ve been programming with Python for a few years now but one of the first questions I had when first learning it was; “Is Python case-sensitive?”
This is one of the more important things to learn about the language when starting out. Otherwise, errors may occur when calling variables or objects. So let’s get to it and answer the question!
Is Python Case-Sensitive?
Python is a case-sensitive programming language. For example, if a variable is named ‘HelloWorld‘, then an error will occur if the variable is called ‘helloworld‘. Variables, functions, and objects in Python must be called exactly how they are named, including the case.
Like most other programming languages like Java, C, and C++, Python is also case-sensitive. We’ll discuss in detail why Python is case-sensitive.
Moreover, I will go through some examples as well to make them simple to understand. Unlike Python, some other languages such as FORTRAN, SQL, and Pascal are not case-sensitive.
What Does It Mean To Be Case-Sensitive?
Before going into details of Python’s case-sensitive nature, it is essential to understand the meaning of the term case-sensitive.
Case-Sensitive: Any computer function or program that differentiates between upper and lowercase letters is called a case-sensitive program.
Moreover, in case-sensitive programs, the input is treated differently.
Some examples of case sensitivity are Desktop and desktop. In the first one, D is capitalized, and in the second one, d is lowercase. Modern systems are case-sensitive, and they give either run time error or show file name doesn’t match or are incorrect.
Let’s look at some more examples so that we can be perfectly clear in our understanding.
Examples of Case-Sensitivity in Python
As mentioned earlier, Python is a case-sensitive language, so the term ‘HelloWorld’ and ‘helloworld’ are not the same.
You can name your variables any name that you choose, but you must call them exactly as they are named. Therefore, it’s better to simply follow Python’s naming convention and write code in a consistent format to avoid runtime errors.
According to Python’s official website:
Function names should be lowercase, with words separated by underscores as necessary to improve readability.
Variable names follow the same convention as function names.
The following is an example of ignoring case sensitivity incorrectly calling two variables:
// Example of INCORRECT use of case-sensitivity in Python
first_name = 'Tim'
last_name = 'Statler'
print('My name is ' + First_Name + ' ' + LAST_Name)
This code will return an error. The reason for the error is that the variables are called but the correct case for the variable names is ignored.
However, the following is an example of abiding by the case-sensitivity rules and correctly calling two variables by their given names:
// Example of CORRECT use of case-sensitivity in Python
first_name = 'Tim'
last_name = 'Statler'
print('My name is ' + first_name + ' ' + last_name)
This code will run without errors and output the sentence: My name is Tim Statler.
How to Ignore Case in Python?
If you want Python to ignore the case of a string variable, you can use one of two functions: the .lower() and the .upper() methods.
.lower(): This method will convert all letters to lowercase.
.upper(): This method will convert all letters to uppercase.
Let’s look at another example of comparing two strings:
// String comparison using the .lower() method
string1 = 'HELLO WORLD'
string2 = 'hello world'
comparison = string1.lower() == string2
The code will return an output of “true.” This is because string1 is equal to string2 once the .lower() method is performed on string1.
Reasons Why Python Is Case-Sensitive
- In HTML, Variable, and variable can be the same but not in Python because HTML isn’t case sensitive. Moreover, in HTML <p> and <P> are the same.
- Python is a case-sensitive language because it distinguishes between identifiers like Variable and variable. In simple words, we can say it cares about uppercase and lowercase.
- When you don’t type the same strings, the output will not be correct.
- Python is used in various fields, so they don’t want identifiers to remain limited. We don’t want to limit ourselves to variables and symbols in mathematics and the same thing applies to Python.
Things to Remember When Using Python
We have seen some examples of how Python is case-sensitive. So we would love to share some things that you need to take care of when using Python.
- Separate multiple words by using an underscore, such as python_is_case_sensitive.
- Give your variables and classes descriptive names. For example, if you want to create a variable to keep count of an incrementing number, you can simply name it ‘c.’ This a valid name, but it isn’t descriptive. A better way to name your variable is to describe its use, such as ‘count’.
- Clear identifiers and variable names ensure that there is no confusion when you check coding after a long period of time. Comments also help with this.
Python Facts That Everyone Should Know
- Python is case-sensitive.
- Python is platform-independent.
- Python is both a compiled and an interpreted language.
- Python language is designed to be highly readable.
- Python is an official language at Google.
- Other programming languages use punctuation, but it uses English keywords.
- Python is a high-level and object-oriented scripting language.
- It supports structured and functional programming methods.
- It can be easily integrated with Java, C++, Cobra, and COM.
- Python doesn’t support slice or generic data types.
People often ask if Python is case-sensitive or not. Yes, it’s case-sensitive, and we have answered this question in detail. By following a few things, you can avoid runtime errors and the incorrect output.
If you want to learn how to program with Python, check out these 15 fun Python projects for beginners. There is a full video tutorial that walks you through each project, step-by-step. And it’s absolutely FREE!