Basic types

Let's go over the basic data types that you will encounter in Python.


A number may be an integer, a real number, or a complex number. The usual operations are:

  • addition and subtraction, + and -
  • multiplication and division, * and /
  • power, **

Here is an example:

2 ** (2 + 2) # 16
1j ** 2 # -1
1. + 3.0j


The symbol for complex numbers

j  is a symbol to denote the imaginary part of a complex number. It is a syntactic element and should not be confused with multiplication by a variable. More on complex numbers can be found in section Numeric Types of Chapter 2, Variables and Basic Types.


Strings are sequences of characters, enclosed by simple or double quotes:

'valid string' "string with double quotes" "you shouldn't forget comments" ...

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