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Why is python asking for a colon?

hello, I was wondering why the function is asking to put a colon even thought one is already there.

def math(question):
    if question = 1:
        answer = num1 + num2
    elif question = 2:
        answer = num1 - num2
    elif question = 3:
        answer = num1 * num2
    return answer

2 Answers

Chris Freeman
Chris Freeman
Treehouse Moderator 67,636 Points

Hey Sabeen Azhar, good question.

A colon marks the start of an expected indented block. Since eachelif/else has its own code block, a colon is needed.

The elif ended the previous code block by being indented only as far as the previous if of elif.

**Edit: are you using Python 3.8+? Python might be thing you mean to use the walrus operator. That is, it might be guessing you mean:

    if question := 1:

It helps if you post the complete error stacktrace for context.

Post back if you need more help. Good luck!!

The number of colons you currently have in your function is fine.

In the line if question = 1:, you get a SyntaxError. You probably meant to use if question == 1: with two equal signs to check equality. The lines starting with elif have the same issue.

Your function does not have any parameters named num1 or num2, so they might not be defined when the function is run. If you want them to be parameters, you could change your first line to def math(question, num1, num2):.

Chris Freeman
Chris Freeman
Treehouse Moderator 67,636 Points

I’m now wonder if this is a walrus operator error.