how to tell a method is classmethod or static method or instance method

Steven D'Aprano steve+comp.lang.python at
Mon Feb 13 09:03:24 CET 2012

On Mon, 13 Feb 2012 15:59:27 +0900, Zheng Li wrote:

> how to tell a method is class method or static method or instance
> method?

That's a good question, with a subtle answer that depends on exactly what 
you mean by the question. If you mean the object you get back from 
ordinary attribute access like "instance.method", then you do this:

>>> class K(object):
...     @classmethod
...     def cmethod(cls):
...             pass
...     @staticmethod
...     def smethod():
...             pass
...     def method(self):
...             pass
>>> k = K()
>>> type(k.smethod)
<type 'function'>

So static methods are just functions, and both class methods and instance 
methods share the same underlying type:

>>> type(k.method)
<type 'instancemethod'>
>>> type(k.cmethod)
<type 'instancemethod'>

But if you dig deeper, you learn that all methods are actually 

>>> type(K.__dict__['cmethod'])
<type 'classmethod'>
>>> type(K.__dict__['smethod'])
<type 'staticmethod'>
>>> type(K.__dict__['method'])
<type 'function'>

(Functions are descriptors too.)

This is deep magic in Python, but if you want to learn more about it, you 
can read this:

And I'll take this opportunity to plug my dualmethod descriptor:


More information about the Python-list mailing list