Python comes with a builtin function
float()
that can convert a valid string and integer number to Python floatingpoint number. Python float numbers represent decimal numbers or real numbers that provide more precision to the numeric value.
In Python programming, we have different data types to represent different types of data values.
For example we have
int
type to represent integer numbers,
str
type to represent string or character sequences,
complex
to represent complex numbers, and
float
to represent decimal or floatingpoint numbers.
To know more about all the data types of Python, click here .
In this tutorial, we will walk through the Python floatingpoint numbers and discuss how to use the inbuilt
float()
function to convert a string or integer value to a floatingpoint number.
Python Float
In Python, there are two data types that represent numerical values
int
and
float
. The
int
datatype is used to store integer values from positive infinity to negative infinity. And the
float
data type is used to store real numbers or decimal numbers from positive infinity to negative infinity. Python uses the 64bit doubleprecision values to store floatingpoint numbers and the maximum floatingpoint value could be
1.8 x 10
^{
308
}
which can also be represented as
float('inf')
float infinity.
Example
# integer number
int_num = 30
# float num
float_num = 30.0
print("The Type of int_num is:", type(int_num))
print("The Type of float_num is: ", type(float_num))
Output
The Type of int_num is: <class 'int'> The Type of float_num is: <class 'float'>
In this example, the value of
int_num
is
30
and the value of
float_num
is
30.0.
The value of both the variables is equal even if we try to perform an equal to comparison operation between the two we will find that the result is True. The only difference between the two values is the decimal point and this distinguishes their data type. A floatingpoint number always has a decimal point and an int value don't.
Python Float function
In Python we have the concept of type conversion, using which we can convert the data type of one object to another, using some builtin Python functions.
float()
is also one of the Python type conversion inbuilt functions, that can convert the numeric value of string and integer value to a floatingpoint number.
Syntax
float(number)
return value
The
float()
object does not convert the actual variable to the float, instead it converts the copy of the value and returns it.
Example
# convert an integer to float
int_num = 30
# convert the integer into float
float_num = float(int_num)
print(f"int_num ==> {int_num}; float_num == {float_num}")
Output
int_num ==> 30; float_num == 30.0
Convert an integer number into Float
If a number is of integer data type we can convert it into float using the
float()
function. The
float()
function will put a
.0
value after the integer number and the number will be converted into the float.
Example
# convert a integer to float
int_num = 30
# convert the integer into float
float_num = float(int_num)
print(f"int_num ==> {int_num}; float_num == {float_num}")
Output
int_num ==> 30; float_num == 30.0
As we already know that the
float()
function does not change the actual variable object instead it works on the copy of object value and return the result. There is also a trick to convert a Python integer number into a floatingpoint number without using the float function. All we need to do is add
0.0
to the integer number and because of Python implicit type conversion property we will receive a floatingpoint number, as a result.
Example
# convert a integer to float
int_num = 30
# convert the integer into float without using float()
float_num = int_num + 0.0
print(f"int_num ==> {int_num}; float_num == {float_num}")
output
int_num ==> 30; float_num == 30.0
Convert a String value to float
We can also convert the valid string numerical value to floatingpoint numbers using the
float()
function.
syntax
float('number')
Example
# string number
string_num = '30.74'
# convert the string number into float using float()
float_num = float(string_num)
print(f"int_num ==> {string_num}; float_num == {float_num}")
Output
int_num ==> 30.74; float_num == 30.74
If we try to convert an invalid string value into the float that contains any letter and special symbols (except underscore), we would receive the
ValueError
.
Example
# invalid string number
string_num = '30.74o'
# convert the string number into float using float()
float_num = float(string_num)
print(f"int_num ==> {string_num}; float_num == {float_num}")
Output
Traceback (most recent call last): File "main.py", line 5, in <module> float_num = float(string_num) ValueError: could not convert string to float: '30.74o'
The last character of
string_num
is
o
which is a letter and the
float()
function cannot convert letter values to floating values.
Infinity and Not a Number in Float.
There are three special string letters that can converted into float using
float()
function.

'Infinity'
to represent the infinite numbers. 
'inf'
same as infinity. 
'nan'
not a number.
We can only use the float function on these three special string character values to convert them into a floatingpoint number.
Example
# positive infinite number
max_number = float('inf')
# negetive infinite number
min_number = float('Infinity')
# not a number
nan = float('nan')
print('Max Number:', max_number)
print('Min Number:', min_number)
print('Not a Number:', nan)
output
Max Number: inf Min Number: inf Not a Number: nan
Convert Boolean values to float Numbers
There are two boolean values in Python
True
and
False
. And when we try to convert them into a floatingpoint number using
float()
function True became
1.0
and False become
0.0
.
Example
# true value
true = float(True)
# false value
false = float(False)
print('True Number:', true)
print('False Number:', false)
Output
True Number: 1.0 False Number: 0.0
This is also why Python treat
0
as a Falsey Value.
Wrapping Up!
Python floating points numbers bring more precision to the numeric data values. And as a Python developer, you will be working more with floatingpoint numbers as compared to integers. Also with the help of Python
float()
the function we can convert the data type of boolean, string and integer to a floatingpoint number, which makes it easy for us to convert the data type of the value.
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