We just witnessed that we can access names from the enclosing scope with nested functions, but we cannot modify them. Python does however provide a way for us to modify names in the enclosing scope, by using the nonlocal statement.

Given the following enclosing and nested function, there is a variable defined in the enclosing scope, which is not modifiable from within the nested function.

def enclosing_function(): var = "value" def nested_function(): var = "new_value" nested_function() print(var) enclosing_function()

The output would be:


as the value of var was not modified by the nested function. After using the nonlocal statement, the variable is now modifiable from the local scope.

def enclosing_function(): var = "value" def nested_function(): nonlocal var var = "new_value" nested_function() print(var) enclosing_function()

The output would now be:


Let’s practice modifying variables in a nested context in our painting application for Jiho!



The users of our applications have requested that we add a way of calculating the amount of paint needed for multiple rooms. To accomplish this the function calc_paint_amount() now accepts a single parameter wall_measurements which should be a list of tuples containing the width and height of each wall.

The nested function calc_square_feet() has been added to iterate through the list and add up the square footage. This function is then called within calc_paint_amount().

Run the code and notice the UnboundLocalError regarding the variable square_feet. Move to the next task to fix this.


Since we need to modify square_feet in an enclosing scope, make sure to mark the variable as nonlocal in the appropriate place.

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