Working with Built-in Functions in Python

Claudio Sabato
5 min readJan 28, 2024

There are two main types of functions in Python:

  • Built-in functions: they are built-in in Python and hence they are available immediately in your Python installation. Some examples of Python built-in functions are input(), isinstance(), len(), list(), print(), sum(), zip().
  • User-defined functions: they are custom functions that users create to solve specific problems that are not solved by one of the many built-in functions.

In this tutorial, we will focus on Python built-in functions.

How Many Python Built-in Functions Are Available?

Python 3.12 has 71 built-in functions. This number might change in future versions of Python.

Here are common built-in functions and examples of code that show how you can use them.

Execute the following examples using your Python shell to practice writing code in Python.

abs(): calculate the absolute value of a number

The abs() function accepts a single argument, which can be an integer, a floating-point number, or a complex number, and returns the absolute value in the same data type for integers and floats, and the magnitude for complex numbers.



Claudio Sabato

Claudio Sabato is an IT expert with over 15 years of professional experience in Python/Bash programming, Linux Systems Administration and IT Systems Design.