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A function is a named, reusable block of code that can be called and executed throughout a program.

A function is declared with the fun keyword, a function name, parentheses containing (optional) arguments, as well as an (optional) return type.

To call/invoke a function, write the name of the function followed by parentheses.

fun greet() {
println("Hey there!")
fun main() {
// Function call
greet() // Prints: Hey there!

Function Arguments

In Kotlin, an argument is a piece of data we can pass into a function when invoking it.

To pass data into a function, the function’s header must include parameters that describe the name and data type of the incoming data. If a function is declared with parameters, then data must be passed when the function is invoked. We can include as many parameters as needed.

fun birthday(name: String, age: Int) {
println("Happy birthday $name! You turn $age today!")
fun main() {
birthday("Oscar", 26) // Prints: Happy birthday Oscar! You turn 25 today!
birthday("Amarah", 30) // Prints: Happy birthday Amarah! You turn 30 today!

Default Arguements

We can give arguments a default value which provides an argument an automatic value if no value is passed into the function when it’s invoked.

fun favoriteLanguage(name, language = "Kotlin") {
println("Hello, $name. Your favorite programming language is $language")
fun main() {
favoriteLanguage("Manon") // Prints: Hello, Manon. Your favorite programming language is Kotlin
favoriteLanguage("Lee", "Java") // Prints: Hello, Lee. Your favorite programming language is Java

Named Arguments

We can name our arguments when invoking a function to provide additional readability.

To name an argument, write the argument name followed by the assignment operator (=) and the argument value. The argument’s name must have the same name as the parameter in the function being called.

By naming our arguments, we can place arguments in any order when the function is being invoked.

fun findMyAge(currentYear: Int, birthYear: Int) {
var myAge = currentYear - birthYear
println("I am $myAge years old.")
fun main() {
findMyAge(currentYear = 2020, birthYear = 1995)
// Prints: I am 25 years old.
findMyAge(birthYear = 1920, currentYear = 2020)
// Prints: I am 100 years old.

Return Statement

In Kotlin, in order to return a value from a function, we must add a return statement to our function using the return keyword. This value is then passed to where the function was invoked.

If we plan to return a value from a function, we must declare the return type in the function header.

// Return type is declared outside the parentheses
fun getArea(length: Int, width: Int): Int {
var area = length * width
// return statement
return area
fun main() {
var myArea = getArea(10, 8)
println("The area is $myArea.") // Prints: The area is 80.

Single Expression Functions

If a function contains only a single expression, we can use a shorthand syntax to create our function.

Instead of placing curly brackets after the function header to contain the function’s code block, we can use an assignment operator = followed by the expression being returned.

fun fullName(firstName: String, lastName: String) = "$firstName $lastName"
fun main() {
println(fullName("Ariana", "Ortega")) // Prints: Ariana Ortega
println(fullName("Kai", "Gittens")) // Prints: Kai Gittens

Function Literals

Function literals are unnamed functions that can be treated as expressions: we can assign them to variables, call them, pass them as arguments, and return them from a function as we could with any other value.

Two types of function literals are anonymous functions and lambda expressions.

fun main() {
// Anonymous Function:
var getProduct = fun(num1: Int, num2: Int): Int {
return num1 * num2
println(getProduct(8, 3)) // Prints: 24
// Lambda Expression
var getDifference = { num1: Int, num2: Int -> num1 - num2 }
println(getDifference(10, 3)) // Prints: 7