FOR Loops

We often want computers to repeat some process several times. Programming languages provide structures that enable you to repeat blocks of instructions over and over again. This type of repetition is known as iteration.

There are two types of loop in Python:

  • the for loop
  • the while loop

This simple for loop example would write "hello world" 5 times:

for counter in range(5):
      print("hello world")

The for loop is used to repeat a series of statements a given number of times. The first line of the for statement is used to state how many times the code should be repeated. A stepper variable is used to count through each iteration of the loop.

The range function

The range() function is one of Python's built in functions. It is is used to indicate how many times the loop will be repeated.

The structure of the range function is range(start, upto, step) in which the arguments of range are used as follows:

  • start and step are both optional.
  • upto must always be there, it means "up to but not including" the value.
  • start, upto, and step must all be integers

Examples: of the use of range:

  • range(10) produces the list: [0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]
  • range(1, 7) produces the list: [1,2,3,4,5,6]
  • range(0, 30, 5) produces the list: [0,5,10,15,20,25]
  • range(5, -1, -1) produces the list: [5,4,3,2,1,0]

Example FOR Loops

For statements


Using the skills demonstrated above:

  • Write a program that will ask the user for a message and the number of times they want that message displayed. Then output the message that number of times.
  • Write a program that will calculate the average (mean) of a set of numbers. This time, the user is to be asked how many numbers are to be averaged, they must then enter this number of numbers. Your program will calculate and display the average of those numbers.