Python break and continue [With Easy Examples]

Filed Under: Python

Today we will learn about the Python break and continue statements. These Python keywords are used to change the flow of a loop in Python.

In the previous post, we talk about the Python for loop where we discuss how the flow of the loop can be broken or continued with the use of these statements. Let’s explore these keywords in further detail.

Usage of the Python break and continue statements

The Python break and continue statements modify the behavior of the loop while the loop runs. Consider an example where you are running a loop for a specific period. At a certain point, you want the loop to end and move to the next statement within your code.

At such a point, the break statement works best. Similarly, if you want the loop to skip an iteration and move to the next iteration, the continue statement is what you’d use.

1. Python break statement

The Python break statement breaks out of a loop. Look at the example below. Let’s say you want to print a list of all the odd numbers but want the loop to stop as soon as the number goes above 10.

In such a case, you can obviously specify a range, but the other option is to break out of the loop using the break statement.

Python break statement example

number = 1 #Number is initially 1
while True : #This means the loop will continue infinite time
        print (number) #print the number
        number+=2 #calculate next odd number
        # Now give the breaking condition
        if number > 10:
                #Breaks the loop if number is greater than ten
                print (number) #This statement won't be executed


python break example

In the given example you will see that the statement(s) after the break, don’t execute. So here, the code will stop before printing 11.

The Python break statement can be used in the for loop too. Suppose you are printing words from a list. If any words match “exit” won’t be printed and the loop will terminate. The following Python code illustrates the idea.

words = ["rain", "sun", "moon", "exit", "weather"]
for word in words:
        #checking for the breaking condition
        if word == "exit" :
                #if the condition is true, then break the loop
        #Otherwise, print the word
        print (word)

Output :

python break statement example with for loop

2. Python continue statement

The Python continue statement is used to skip an iteration of the loop when a condition is met.

Python Continue Example

Let’s take an example here. In the code snippet below, I’m printing out all the numbers from 1 to 10.

But when the iteration reaches number 7, I want to skip it and move to printing 8.

numbers = range(1,11)
the range(a,b) function creates a list of number 1 to (b-1)
So, in this case it would generate
numbers from 1 to 10
for number in numbers:
        #check the skipping condition
        if number == 7:
                #this statement will be executed
                print("7 is skipped")
                #this statement won't be executed
                print ("This won't be printed")
        #print the values
        #for example:
        #2 is double of 1
        print (number*2),
        print ("is double of"),
        print (number)

Python continue output
python continue example code

Let’s take the same example here with the while loop instead

numbers = [ 1, 2, 4, 3, 6, 5, 7, 10, 9 ]
pos = 0 #initial position is one
while pos < len(numbers):
        #checking skipping condition if number is divisible by two, it is even
        if numbers[pos] % 2 == 0 :
                #increment the position by one
                pos = pos + 1
        #print the odd number
        print (numbers[pos])
        #increment the position by one
        pos = pos + 1

Python continue statement output
python continue while loop example


That brings us to the end of the Python break and continue statement tutorial. These are very handy statements to understand and are very often used in programming. If you enjoyed reading the tutorial, go ahead and let us know in the comments below!


  1. ghada says:

    weight = 0
    items = []
    for cargo_name, cargo_weight in manifest:
    print(“current weight: {}”.format(weight))
    if weight >= 100:
    print(” breaking from the loop now!”)
    elif weight + cargo_weight > 100:
    print(” skipping {} ({})”.format(cargo_name, cargo_weight))
    print(” adding {} ({})”.format(cargo_name, cargo_weight))
    weight += cargo_weight

    print(“\nFinal Weight: {}”.format(weight))
    print(“Final Items: {}”.format(items))

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