Python SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal Solution

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Python SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal Solution
vinaykhatri

Vinay Khatri
Last updated on July 13, 2024

    A string data type is a sequence of charters. To initialize a string value in Python, we can use single, double, or triple quotations. Apart from the quotes, there are some rules associated with the initialization of a string in Python, and if we do not follow those rules, Python will raise SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal Error.

    If you are encountering the same error in your Python program, then don't worry. In this guide, we will discuss this error in detail and learn how to debug it. We will also write three examples that demonstrate the real scenario where many Python learners commit mistakes and receive this error.

    Let's start with the Problem statement itself.

    Python Problem SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal

    While writing a program in Python, we need to take care of all the syntax and rules defined by Python. The rules by which a code must be written is also known as the Programming language's syntax.

    Similarly, Python already defines the syntax of how a string value must be declared or initialized. And if we do not follow the proper syntax, we receive the following error.

    Example

    string = "This is a string
    print(string)

    Output

        File "<stdin>", line 1
              string = "This is a string
                ^
    SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal

    The error statement has two parts

    1. SyntaxError (Exception Type)
    2. EOL while scanning string literal (Error Message)

    1. SyntaxError

    SyntaxError is a standard Python exception. Python's parser raises this error when it cannot parse or read the code properly because of the wrong syntax. In the above example, we received this exception because we did not initialize the string properly.

    2. EOL while scanning string literal

    This error message tells us that the parser is reaching the end of the line before finding the closing quotes that close the string. We generally write the string's character inside the single and double quotes.

    According to the Python syntax, the string must be defined within a single line means the opening and the closing quotes must be in the same line. And if we try to write the same string in multiple lines or do not put the closing quote in the same line, Python will throw the " EOL while string literal " Error. In the above example, we forget to put the closing double quote to close the string value. That's why Python throws the error.

    Solution

    string = "This is a string" # solved
    print(string)

    output

    This is a string

    Common Example Scenario

    By reading the error statement, we can tell that Python is raising this error because the string parser is reaching the end of the line before it can find the closing quote of the string. There are three common cases when many Python learners commit mistakes with strings and encounter errors.

    1. Try to put a string in multiple lines with improper syntax.
    2. Forget to put the closing string quote.
    3. Mismatch the opening and closing quotes.

    Example 1. Try to put a string in Multiple lines

    Sometimes a string value becomes very large and does not fit properly in the viewing display of the Python IDE , there we need to break the string into multiple lines.

    Example

    #error 
    string = "This is a very long string value
                that is seperated into
                multiple lines"
    
    print(string)

    Output

      File "main.py", line 2
        string = "This is a very long string value
                                                  ^
    SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal

    We can not simply write a string value in multiple lines, Python does not allow this syntax.

    Solution 1

    If you want to write a string in multiple lines using single or double quotes, there you need to use the new line escape character ( \ ) at the end of every line to tell the Python parser that the string does not end there.

    Example

    #solved 
    string = "This is a very long string value \
    that is seperated into \
    multiple lines"
    
    print(string)

    Output

    This is a very long string valuethat is seperated into multiple lines
    

    Solution 2

    Another way to write a multi-line string is using the triple, single, or double quotes """ or '''.

    #solved 
    string = """This is a very long string value 
    that is seperated into 
    multiple lines"""
    
    print(string)

    Output

    This is a very long string value 
    that is seperated into 
    multiple lines

    The triple quotes string treats the string as a preformatted string and puts the new line at the end of every line when we split the string into multiple lines. To make the multiple lines as a single, we need to put the new line escape character \ at the end of the line for every split line.

    Example 2. Forget to put the closing string quote

    This error can also occur in our program when we forget to close the string quotes.

    Example

    #error 
    string = "This string does not have any closing quotes
    
    print(string)

    Output

      File "main.py", line 2
        string = "This string does not have any closing quotes
                                                              ^
    SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal

    In this example, we do have an opening quote for the string's value, but we forget to put the closing quote. Which made the Python interpreter raise the error.

    Solution

    To solve the above error, we need to put the closing quotes for the string value.

    #solved 
    string = "This string have any closing quotes"
    
    print(string)

    Output

    This string have any closing quotes

    3. Mismatch the opening and closing quotes

    Although we can either use single or double quotes to wrap the characters of the string, the opening and the closing quotes can not be different. We can not use a single quote for opening and double quotes for closing or vice-versa.

    Example

    #error 
    string = 'String starts with single and ends with double"
    
    print(string)

    Output

      File "main.py", line 2
        string = 'String starts with single and ends with double"
                                                                 ^
    SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal

    Solution

    The opening and closing quotes of the string must be the same.

    #solved
    string = "String start's with double and end's with double"
    
    print(string)

    Output

    String start's with double and end's with double

    Conclusion

    The "SyntaxError: EOL while scanning string literal" occur in a Python program when the Python parser could not find the closing quotes in the same line. There are 3 common mistakes where Python developers encounter this error.

    1. Declare a string in multiple lines with improper syntax.
    2. Forget to close the string.
    3. Use the different quotes for opening and closing.

    If you are receiving this error in your Python program, please check if you are committing any of the above mistakes.

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