FAQ: Learn Python: Files - What's With "with"?

This community-built FAQ covers the “What’s With “with”?” exercise from the lesson “Learn Python: Files”.

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This exercise can be found in the following Codecademy content:

Learn Python 3

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I hope all is well. I have a question regarding this exercise:

Even though we defined the ‘punchline’ inside of the “with-block,” we can still access outside of that block. This seems to go against the scope of variables and functions (assuming that the with-block is a function). Is this a correct observation? If so, what’s happening?

Thank you again.

1 Like

with is not a function. You could wrap your with block in a function, that is possible.

with just like if (and others) is a block, but python doesn’t have block scope.

Just wanted to leave this here. Nice one.


lmao yes, I’m not sure how many people actually went thru to see this lol

for those wondering why we can access variables setup outside the with block its because with doesnt create scope

what is the function open()?

Recommend you bookmark this page and make copious use of it in your learning:

Built-in Functions — Python 3.12.0 documentation

With regard to your question:

7. Input and Output — Python 3.12.0 documentation

This is a good question, I was also going to ask this here,

with open(‘fun_file.txt’) as close_this_file:

setup = close_this_file.readline()
punchline = close_this_file.readline()


In this code, even after exiting the indented ‘with’ block, I can still access the setup variable, why? can anyone explain me clearly, I am a beginner.
As I guess, so once we open any file, python saves it in memeory, so all the stuffs already gets saved, then we can access anywhere, it’s right?

@joysasha, please check out How do I format code in my posts? to see how to post codes into the forum. Python depends on proper indentation to run and having the indentation displayed helps us troubleshoot your issues.

As to your question, as mentioned by @stetim94 above python doesn’t have block scope. The only time we have encountered so far where there’s scope within and without a code block is when defining functions. With is not a function, even if it utilizes a block, simlar to how if also utilizes a block format, but is in itself not a function and doesn’t limit the access of variables created within.

Python doesn’t save a file into memory automatically when you open it. It’s saved into memory because in the code we explicitly saved it via defining the content of the file into the variables setup and punchline.

Hope this helps!

On the basis you might have added to this topic, we’re supportive. Months later is stretching the need basis. Let’s hope you are adding to a knowledge base, and not just posting to post.

1 Like

@mtf I responded based on the fact that it’s a question that’s came up and not fully answered, “relatively” new, and the user appears to be active and may still be seeking answer (seen two days ago).

We’re awaiting their reply…