Many programmers use the terms argument and parameter interchangeably, although they have different meanings. Hence, we’ll look at the difference between an argument and a parameter in this tutorial.
2. Parameters and Arguments
Let’s see a pseudocode example to show clear defenitions of the terms parameter and argument. In fact, a method or function in this program takes two numbers as inputs and outputs the sum of those values:
The parameters are the variables that we can define in the function declaration. In fact, we utilized these variables within the function. Also, the programming language in the function description determines the data type specification. These variables facilitate the function’s entire execution. In addition, they are known as local variables because they are only available within the function.
Now, let’s understand these variables in detail with the help of the example above. The function ab contains two values inside the parenthesis, , and . So, and are the parameters. In fact, these are two local variables, with a lifetime limited to the function. They can also take any values that are given to the function when it is called.
The arguments are the variables given to the function for execution. Besides, the local variables of the function take the values of the arguments and therefore can process these parameters for the final output.
Now, let’s look at the function calling in the pseudocode above. So, at the end of the pseudocode, we invoked the function . In other words, the arguments are the real values that we give as input to get the desired output. So, in our example, we choose and as arguments, then the obtained output will be .
3. The Difference Between an Argument and a Parameter
When building functions, we can make certain inputs in order to process the instructions included in the function. In this context, we frequently use the terms “arguments” and “parameters” interchangeably to refer to these inputs. To clarify, we take a look at the differences to see which to use in which situation. Let’s now summarize the main differences between arguments and parameters:
In this tutorial, we discussed the main difference between arguments and parameters. We demonstrated when and how they are used.