How to fix “SyntaxError: Missing parentheses in call to ‘print'” in Python

Updated Sep 22, 2023 ⤳ 3 min read

The Python error “SyntaxError: Missing parentheses in call to ‘print’ …” occurs when you use an old-style print statement (e.g., print 'some value') in Python 3.

This not so short error message looks like this:

File /dwd/sandbox/, line 1
  print 'some text here'
SyntaxError: Missing parentheses in call to 'print'. Did you mean print(...)?

As the error explains, from version 3, print() is a function in Python and must be used as an ordinary function call:

# 🚫 This style of print statements only work in older versions of Python
print 'hello world'

# ✅ To fix the issue, we add parentheses
print('some text here')

You might get this error if you're running an old code in Python 3 or have copied a code snippet from an old post on Stackoverflow.

🎧 Debugging Jam

Calling all coders in need of a rhythm boost! Tune in to our 24/7 Lofi Coding Radio on YouTube, and let's code to the beat – subscribe for the ultimate coding groove!" Let the bug-hunting begin! 🎵💻🚀

24/7 lofi music radio banner, showing a young man working at his computer on a rainy autmn night with hot drink on the desk.

How to fix it?

All you need to do is to call print() with your string literal(s) as its argument(s) - and do the same to every old-style print statement in your code.

The print() function is much more robust than its predecessor. Python 3 printing method enables you to adjust the print() function's behavior based on your requirements.

You might like:

For instance, to print a list of values separated by a character (e.g., a space or comma), you can pass them as multiple arguments to the print() function:

# ✅ Using print() with multiple arguments:

price = 49.99
print('The value is', price)
# output: The value is 49.99

As you can see, the arguments are separated by whitespace; You can change the delimiter via the sep keyword argument:

print('banana', 'apple', 'orange', sep=', ')
# output: banana, apple, orange

Python 3 takes the dynamic text generation to a new level by providing formatted string literals (a.k.a f-strings) and the print() function.

You might like:

One of the benefits of f-strings is concatenating values of different types (e.g., integers and strings) without having to cast them to string values.

You create an f-string by prefixing it with f or F and writing expressions inside curly braces ({}):

user = {
    'name': 'John',
    'score': 75

print(f'User: {user[name]}, Score: {user[score]}')
# output: User: John, Score: 75

In python 2.7, you'd have to use the + operator or printf-style formatting.

Please note that f-strings were added to Python from version 3.6 and don't work in Python's older versions. For versions prior to 3.6, check out the str.format() function.

You might like:

Alright, I think it does it. I hope this quick guide helped you solve your problem.

Thanks for reading.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. I might receive a commission if a purchase is made. However, it doesn’t change the cost you’ll pay.