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What is 'raise' exactly, and what does it do?

I don't think I completely understand what raise is for and how it's used. If except can handle common errors very well, doesn't that make the use of raise redundant inside of a try-except block?

For example:

   print( 5/0 )
except ZeroDivisionError:
   raise ValueError("An error occurred!")

What's the difference if we handle it this way:

   print( 5/0 )
except (ZeroDivisionError, ValueError):
   print("An error occurred!")

I searched the web for a good explanation of what raise does and I couldn't find one that is not confusing. Could anyone please break this for me in simple English? Thank you.

1 Answer

Steven Parker
Steven Parker
228,094 Points

:point_right: Print just causes a message to appear, raise creates an error condition.

The message associated with raise is secondary to the primary purpose of creating the error condition. Unless the program handles that condition (with another except), the program will stop running.

Thanks for your answer Steven. It makes sense that it should be different from print. But I'm still not sure what it does here. Are you saying it handles an error even if it didn't occur? If so, why and how is that useful?