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What is object in Python

Understanding Objects in Python

When you're starting your journey in programming, especially with Python, you might often come across the term "object." But what exactly is an object in the context of programming? To put it simply, an object is a collection of data (variables) and methods (functions) that act on the data. And Python, as you might have heard, is an object-oriented programming language. This means that Python treats everything as an object, from numbers to functions.

Objects and Real-Life Analogies

To understand objects better, let's use a real-world analogy. Imagine a car. A car is an object. It has properties like color, make, model, and fuel level - these can be thought of as variables in programming. It also has behaviors like starting the engine, stopping, or playing music - these are like functions in programming.

In Python, an object is similar. It has attributes (variables that belong to the object) and methods (functions that can be performed on the object).

Creating Objects in Python

In Python, objects are created from something called a class. A class is like a blueprint for an object. It defines what attributes and methods an object created from that class will have.

class Car:
    def __init__(self, color, make, model):
        self.color = color
        self.make = make
        self.model = model

    def start_engine(self):
        print("The engine has started.")

# Creating an object of the Car class
my_car = Car(color="red", make="Toyota", model="Corolla")

# Accessing object attributes
print(my_car.color)  # Output: red

# Calling object methods
my_car.start_engine()  # Output: The engine has started.

Here, Car is a class with an __init__ method that initializes the object's attributes, and a start_engine method that represents a behavior. my_car is an instance of the Car class, which means it's an object created from the Car blueprint.

Attributes and Methods

Attributes are like the characteristics of an object. In our car example, the color, make, and model are attributes. In Python, you access attributes using the dot . syntax.

Methods, on the other hand, are functions that belong to the object. They define the object's behavior. In the car example, start_engine is a method. You call methods using the same dot . syntax, but you also add parentheses () at the end, just like when you call a regular function.

The self Parameter

You might have noticed the self parameter in the __init__ and start_engine methods. self refers to the instance of the class (the object itself). When you create a new object, Python automatically passes the object as the first argument to the __init__ method and any other methods that have self as their first parameter.

Modifying Object Attributes

You can change the attributes of an object after it's been created. This is similar to customizing your car after you've bought it.

# Changing the color of my_car
my_car.color = "blue"
print(my_car.color)  # Output: blue


Inheritance is a way to create a new class from an existing class. The new class, known as a subclass, inherits the attributes and methods of the parent class but can also have its own additional features.

class ElectricCar(Car):
    def __init__(self, color, make, model, battery_size):
        super().__init__(color, make, model)
        self.battery_size = battery_size

    def start_engine(self):
        print("Wait, I don't have an engine!")

# Creating an object of the ElectricCar class
my_electric_car = ElectricCar(color="green", make="Tesla", model="Model S", battery_size=75)

my_electric_car.start_engine()  # Output: Wait, I don't have an engine!

In this example, ElectricCar is a subclass of Car. It inherits the attributes and methods of Car but overrides the start_engine method to reflect that electric cars don't have traditional engines.


Encapsulation is a concept where the internal representation of an object is hidden from the outside. This is done to prevent external parts of the program from directly accessing and changing the internal workings of an object.

In Python, encapsulation is not enforced like in some other languages. However, you can indicate that a variable should not be accessed directly by prefixing it with an underscore _.

class Computer:
    def __init__(self):
        self._operating_system = "Windows"

    def get_operating_system(self):
        return self._operating_system

my_computer = Computer()
print(my_computer.get_operating_system())  # Output: Windows

In this case, _operating_system is considered a "private" attribute, and the correct way to access it is through the get_operating_system method.


Polymorphism is the ability for different object types to be accessed through the same interface. One way to achieve polymorphism in Python is through method overriding, where a subclass provides a specific implementation of a method that is already defined in its parent class.

class Animal:
    def speak(self):

class Dog(Animal):
    def speak(self):
        return "Woof!"

class Cat(Animal):
    def speak(self):
        return "Meow!"

# Function that can take any animal and call its speak method
def animal_sound(animal):

dog = Dog()
cat = Cat()

animal_sound(dog)  # Output: Woof!
animal_sound(cat)  # Output: Meow!

Here, Dog and Cat are subclasses of Animal. They both have a speak method, but the implementation is different for each class. The animal_sound function can call the speak method on any Animal object, demonstrating polymorphism.


Embarking on the journey of programming with Python is like exploring a new world with its own set of rules and concepts. Understanding objects is like learning how to navigate this world. They are the building blocks of Python programming, encapsulating data and behavior into neat, reusable packages.

As you continue to learn and practice, the idea of objects will become more intuitive. Just like how you don't think about the intricacies of driving every time you start a car, you'll eventually work with objects in Python with ease. They'll become second nature, a tool in your toolkit that you can use to solve problems and build amazing programs.

Remember, the key to mastering objects in Python, or any programming concept, lies in practice and patience. Keep experimenting with classes, creating objects, and playing with their attributes and methods. Over time, you'll find yourself thinking in terms of objects and their interactions, which is a hallmark of a skilled object-oriented programmer. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride into the world of Python objects!