What is an Interpreter in Python?

An interpreter is an integral part of any programming language, and Python is no different. Python is known as an interpreted language, which means that Python code is executed line-by-line, with each line processed and executed before moving on to the next. This is the job of the Python interpreter.

Why is it Important?

The simplicity and immediacy of the Python interpreter is one of Python’s many appeals. Being able to write code and see the output immediately can greatly speed up the debugging and development process. Furthermore, since interpreters execute code interactively, they are fantastic tools for learning and experimenting with new Python concepts or libraries.

Running Python Interactively

To see the Python interpreter in action, you can run Python in interactive mode. Here’s how to do it.

When you successfully initiate the Python interpreter, you will see something like this:

$ python3
Python 3.8.5 (default, Jan 27 2021, 15:41:15)
[Clang 12.0.0 (clang-1200.0.32.29)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.

Where the >>> is the Python prompt waiting for your input.

Interactive mode allows you to execute Python statements one by one. Let’s test it with a simple print statement:

1print("Hello, Codebay!")

Pressing the Enter key will execute the line, and display the following output:

Hello, Codebay!


Remember: in interactive mode, the response is immediate for each line of code, making it perfect for testing snippets of Python code.


The Python interpreter offers programmers a valuable tool for development, debugging, and learning. By executing code line by line and providing immediate feedback, it aids in creating dynamic and efficient code.