[Tutor] Closing triple quotation marks.

Lisi lisi.reisz at gmail.com
Sat Jun 18 15:50:29 CEST 2011

On Saturday 18 June 2011 13:37:38 Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> Lisi wrote:
> [...]
> > Fair enough. the closing quotation marks are not there.
> >
> > But when they _are_ there, i.e. when that stanza reads:
> >
> > target.write """
> > line1\nline2\nline3\n
> > """
> This is not the problem, but I just thought I'd mention that it's a bit
> silly to go to the trouble of using newline escape characters inside a
> triple-quoted string! You can do it if you want, but this would be more
> naturally written as:
> """
> line 1
> line 2
> line 3
> """
> Now, on to your actual error:
> > I get:
> >
> > lisi at Tux:~/Python/LearnPythonTheHardWay$ python extra-credit_16a.py
> > learning.txt
> >   File "extra-credit_16a.py", line 38
> >     """
> >       ^
> > SyntaxError: invalid syntax
> This has nothing to do with the triple quote marks. Simplify the code by
> shrinking the text inside the quotes to a single line, and you get:
> target.write "..."
> and you will get the same SyntaxError. Can you see the problem? No
> brackets! You need to include parentheses to call the write method:
> target.write("...")
> Then you can expand the string to use a triple-quote:
> target.write("""
> line 1
> line 2
> line 3
> """)
> and all should be good.

Thanks very much, Steven.  I did at some stage in the dim and distant past try 
brackets, but I probably put them in the wrong place.  

But I still can't write to the file.

If I do: 

The value of the variable line1 is written to the file.  But if I put the 
three variables into the write command, what gets printed is the name of the 
variables, not their values.  I am clearly still doing something wrong. But I 
can't see what.  I have even tried to see whether ''' gave a different result 
from """, but it doesn't.  I have accepted KWrite's idea of what the white 
space should be, and I have adapted it to all the variations I can think of.

At the moment it is:

I am beginning to feel paranoid!  I simply can't see in what way that differs 
from yours.

In case it is relevant, I am using Python 2.5.2 (r252:60911, Jan 24 2010, 
14:53:14) [GCC 4.3.2] on Debian 5 with a 2.6.26 kernel.

I was trying not to move on until I had mastered everything in this section, 
but I am beginning to think that that is foolish.  I am getting myself more 
and more bogged down, and it might be more sensible to pass on and come back 
to it.

Again, thank you for your very prompt help.  

I have, I hope, finally _fully_ taken in that many commands need ().  And that 
it is possible to get a new line just by giving a new line - without the 
explicit instruction.  I.e., hopefully, I have learnt something.


More information about the Tutor mailing list