Arguments vs Parameters in Programming

In this article, we will study about arguments and parameters used in the programs at the time of function call.

Sometimes, along with function names, some variables or values are also used and passed to them which help in the execution of a program. These variables which provide extra information about the function are called arguments. The arguments used in one function cannot be used in other functions as they are specific to a particular function and are used only in that specific function. These arguments are passed to the functions at the time of the function call. We can add many arguments to the function and make it more informative.

While Parameter is a type of identifier which is used to identify the type of values passed to a function. In other words, they define the data type of an argument and assign it a general variable that is used while defining a function. They do not contain specific values and are used while writing functions in larger programs to divide them into more readable blocks of code. We can pass several parameters to a function and each parameter is separated by a comma.

Although the terms parameter and arguments are used interchangeably, they differ slightly in their definition and functions. The values passed to the unction at the time of function calling are known as arguments and the values passed at the time of defining function are called parameters. This method of passing values is also known as “Pass by value”.

Let us understand the difference between argument and parameter with the help of a program.

The above C++ program is used to find the sum of two integers – a and b. It can be observed that, at Line 10, the values passed to the function addition, i.e, 5 and 3 are arguments and at Line 1, the values passed to the function, i.e, ‘a’ and ‘b’ are called parameters. We conclude that the actual values are called arguments and their prototype are called parameters and these have found extensive use in providing information about the programs.

Arguments vs Parameters

Argument Parameter
It is passed to the function at the time of the function call. It is passed to the function at the time of specifying function definition.
These are the actual values used to execute the function. These are variables used in place of actual values to generalize the function.
Also called actual parameters. Also called formal parameters.

So, this is all about parameters and arguments in programming. Comment down below if you have any queries.

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