Return Values

You may have noticed that some methods give you something back when you call them. For example, we say gets returns a string (the string you typed in), and the + method in 5+3 (which is really 5.+(3)) returns 8. The arithmetic methods for numbers return numbers, and the arithmetic methods for strings return strings.

It’s important to understand the difference between a method returning a value (returning it to the code that called the method), and your program outputting information to your screen, like puts does. Notice that 5+3 returns 8; it does not output 8 (that is, display 8 on your screen).

So, what does puts return? We never cared before, but let’s look at it now:

return_val = puts ​'This puts returned:'
puts return_val ...

Get Learn to Program, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.