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Difference Between For and While Loop in Python

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What are the differences between a For loop and a While loop in Python?

From definition to syntax, from execution to the initialization nature, both "for" loop and "while" loop are way off. Usually, the entire set of declarations, including condition, iteration sit at the top of the body in the "for" loop. At the same time, only initialization and condition need to be placed on the top of the body, while iteration can be located anywhere in the "while" loop.

What is a For Loop in Python?

For loop is a function that allows a programmer to come up and execute any specific statement a number of times. 

What is a While Loop in Python?

A function that empowers a programmer to execute either a single statement or a group of statements for an available True condition is termed a "while" loop.

Differences Between For and While Loop in Python


For Loop




of 'for' loop}

While Loop


condition0 {


//body of


Initialization in Accordance to Iteration

In the case of the "for" loop, the syntax can be executed only when the available initialization statement sits on the very top of the syntax. In comparison, the location of the initialization statement (iteration) doesn't matter for the syntax of the "while" loop to get executed.

When to Use

We use the "for" loop when the number of iterations is known. On the other hand, the "while" loop comes into aid when you're unaware of the number of iterations.

Absence of Condition

If no condition is given, the "for" loop iterates infinite times. "While" loop under a similar situation displays an error.

Initialization Nature

In the case of the "for" loop, initialization, once done, can never be repeated. For the "while" loop, if you decide to use the initialization while condition checking, the same will be required each and every time when the loop iterates itself.

Comparison Chart: For Loop Vs While Loop in Python

ParametersFor LoopWhile Loop
Syntaxfor(initialization;condition;iteration){//bodyof 'for' loop}while(condition0 {statements;//body of loop}
Initialization in accordance to iterationsIteration needs to be at the top of the loop.Iteration can be placed anywhere.
When to UseWhen number of iterations are known.When the number of iterations is unknown.
Absence of ConditionIterates an infinite number of times.Displays error.
Initialization NatureOnce done cannot be repeated.It is required every time the loop iterates itself.

Similarities: How "for" loop is similar to the "while" loop in Python 

Although holding on to a distinct set of features, you can't take away the fact that both "for" loop and "while" loop are iteration statements. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the iteration need to be located in the for loop vs. while loop?

In the case of the "for" loop, the iteration needs to be placed on the top of the loop, while the "while" loop can sit anywhere.


For anyone, who has been facing trouble placing" for" loop and "while" loop apart while executing any statement in python, the same won't be the case anymore. Here we've talked about each and every element that distinguishes both of them


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About the Author: Nicolas Seignette

Nicolas Seignette, who holds a scientific baccalaureate, began his studies in mathematics and computer science applied to human and social sciences (MIASHS). He then continued his university studies with a DEUST WMI (Webmaster and Internet professions) at the University of Limoges before finishing his course with a professional license specialized in the IT professions. On 10Differences, he is in charge of the research and the writing of the articles concerning technology, sciences and mathematics.
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