python – TypeError: method() takes 1 positional argument but 2 were given

The Question :

323 people think this question is useful

If I have a class…

class MyClass:

    def method(arg):
        print(arg)

…which I use to create an object…

my_object = MyClass()

…on which I call method("foo") like so…

>>> my_object.method("foo")
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
TypeError: method() takes exactly 1 positional argument (2 given)

…why does Python tell me I gave it two arguments, when I only gave one?

The Question Comments :
  • That message has umpteen causes; the specific reason here is that all instance methods expect a first arg which by custom we call self. So declaring def method(arg): is wrong for a method, it should be def method(self, arg):. When the method dispatch tries to call method(arg): and match up two parameters self, arg against it, you get that error.

The Answer 1

426 people think this answer is useful

In Python, this:

my_object.method("foo")

…is syntactic sugar, which the interpreter translates behind the scenes into:

MyClass.method(my_object, "foo")

…which, as you can see, does indeed have two arguments – it’s just that the first one is implicit, from the point of view of the caller.

This is because most methods do some work with the object they’re called on, so there needs to be some way for that object to be referred to inside the method. By convention, this first argument is called self inside the method definition:

class MyNewClass:

    def method(self, arg):
        print(self)
        print(arg)

If you call method("foo") on an instance of MyNewClass, it works as expected:

>>> my_new_object = MyNewClass()
>>> my_new_object.method("foo")
<__main__.MyNewClass object at 0x29045d0>
foo

Occasionally (but not often), you really don’t care about the object that your method is bound to, and in that circumstance, you can decorate the method with the builtin staticmethod() function to say so:

class MyOtherClass:

    @staticmethod
    def method(arg):
        print(arg)

…in which case you don’t need to add a self argument to the method definition, and it still works:

>>> my_other_object = MyOtherClass()
>>> my_other_object.method("foo")
foo

The Answer 2

24 people think this answer is useful

Something else to consider when this type of error is encountered:

I was running into this error message and found this post helpful. Turns out in my case I had overridden an __init__() where there was object inheritance.

The inherited example is rather long, so I’ll skip to a more simple example that doesn’t use inheritance:

class MyBadInitClass:
    def ___init__(self, name):
        self.name = name

    def name_foo(self, arg):
        print(self)
        print(arg)
        print("My name is", self.name)


class MyNewClass:
    def new_foo(self, arg):
        print(self)
        print(arg)


my_new_object = MyNewClass()
my_new_object.new_foo("NewFoo")
my_bad_init_object = MyBadInitClass(name="Test Name")
my_bad_init_object.name_foo("name foo")

Result is:

<__main__.MyNewClass object at 0x033C48D0>
NewFoo
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "C:/Users/Orange/PycharmProjects/Chapter9/bad_init_example.py", line 41, in <module>
    my_bad_init_object = MyBadInitClass(name="Test Name")
TypeError: object() takes no parameters

PyCharm didn’t catch this typo. Nor did Notepad++ (other editors/IDE’s might).

Granted, this is a “takes no parameters” TypeError, it isn’t much different than “got two” when expecting one, in terms of object initialization in Python.

Addressing the topic: An overloading initializer will be used if syntactically correct, but if not it will be ignored and the built-in used instead. The object won’t expect/handle this and the error is thrown.

In the case of the sytax error: The fix is simple, just edit the custom init statement:

def __init__(self, name):
    self.name = name

The Answer 3

20 people think this answer is useful

In simple words.

In Python you should add self argument as the first argument to all defined methods in classes:

class MyClass:
  def method(self, arg):
    print(arg)

Then you can use your method according to your intuition:

>>> my_object = MyClass()
>>> my_object.method("foo")
foo

This should solve your problem 🙂

For a better understanding, you can also read the answers to this question: What is the purpose of self?

The Answer 4

11 people think this answer is useful

Newcomer to Python, I had this issue when I was using the Python’s ** feature in a wrong way. Trying to call this definition from somewhere:

def create_properties_frame(self, parent, **kwargs):

using a call without a double star was causing the problem:

self.create_properties_frame(frame, kw_gsp)

TypeError: create_properties_frame() takes 2 positional arguments but 3 were given

The solution is to add ** to the argument:

self.create_properties_frame(frame, **kw_gsp)

The Answer 5

9 people think this answer is useful

It occurs when you don’t specify the no of parameters the __init__() or any other method looking for.

For example:

class Dog:
    def __init__(self):
        print("IN INIT METHOD")

    def __unicode__(self,):
        print("IN UNICODE METHOD")

    def __str__(self):
        print("IN STR METHOD")

obj=Dog("JIMMY",1,2,3,"WOOF")

When you run the above programme, it gives you an error like that:

TypeError: __init__() takes 1 positional argument but 6 were given

How we can get rid of this thing?

Just pass the parameters, what __init__() method looking for

class Dog:
    def __init__(self, dogname, dob_d, dob_m, dob_y, dogSpeakText):
        self.name_of_dog = dogname
        self.date_of_birth = dob_d
        self.month_of_birth = dob_m
        self.year_of_birth = dob_y
        self.sound_it_make = dogSpeakText

    def __unicode__(self, ):
        print("IN UNICODE METHOD")

    def __str__(self):
        print("IN STR METHOD")


obj = Dog("JIMMY", 1, 2, 3, "WOOF")
print(id(obj))

The Answer 6

3 people think this answer is useful

As mentioned in other answers – when you use an instance method you need to pass self as the first argument – this is the source of the error.

With addition to that,it is important to understand that only instance methods take self as the first argument in order to refer to the instance.

In case the method is Static you don’t pass self, but a cls argument instead (or class_).

Please see an example below.

class City:

   country = "USA" # This is a class level attribute which will be shared across all instances  (and not created PER instance)

   def __init__(self, name, location, population):
       self.name       = name
       self.location   = location
       self.population = population
 
   # This is an instance method which takes self as the first argument to refer to the instance 
   def print_population(self, some_nice_sentence_prefix):
       print(some_nice_sentence_prefix +" In " +self.name + " lives " +self.population + " people!")

   # This is a static (class) method which is marked with the @classmethod attribute
   # All class methods must take a class argument as first param. The convention is to name is "cls" but class_ is also ok
   @classmethod
   def change_country(cls, new_country):
       cls.country = new_country


Some tests just to make things more clear:

# Populate objects
city1 = City("New York",    "East", "18,804,000")
city2 = City("Los Angeles", "West", "10,118,800")

#1) Use the instance method: No need to pass "self" - it is passed as the city1 instance
city1.print_population("Did You Know?") # Prints: Did You Know? In New York lives 18,804,000 people!

#2.A) Use the static method in the object
city2.change_country("Canada")

#2.B) Will be reflected in all objects
print("city1.country=",city1.country) # Prints Canada
print("city2.country=",city2.country) # Prints Canada

The Answer 7

1 people think this answer is useful

You should actually create a class:

class accum:
    def __init__(self):
        self.acc = 0
    def accumulator(self, var2add, end):
        if not end:
            self.acc+=var2add
    return self.acc

The Answer 8

-1 people think this answer is useful

Pass cls parameter into @classmethod to resolve this problem.

@classmethod
def test(cls):
    return ''

The Answer 9

-1 people think this answer is useful

In my case, I forgot to add the ()

I was calling the method like this

obj = className.myMethod

But it should be is like this

obj = className.myMethod()

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