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Arguments and Parameters - do you know the difference?

Benjamin Mock
I'm Ben, a Frontend Developer from Germany working at ebay
・Updated on ・1 min read

When talking about code, arguments and parameters are oftentimes mixed up. So let's clarify that once and for all!

Let's have a look at a simple JavaScript function:

function log(a, b) {
  // do something
}

const myString = "codesnacks"

log(10, myString)

So we have a log function, that takes two parameters, a and b. And we're calling it with the two arguments 10 and myString.

The parameters a and b are potential values, 10 and myString, the arguments, are actual values.

It's relatively easy to remember if you keep the following in mind:

Parameters are Placeholders.
Arguments are Actual values.

Discussion (6)

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steelvoltage profile image
Brian Barbour

I did not know this! I thought they were synonyms for each other.

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mariewie profile image
MarieWie

That is a really nifty mnemonic for a difference I was not quite clear on yet. Thank you!

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azzamaurice profile image
Aaron Maurice

This is great!
I knew which is which, but a mnemonic is super handy!

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vinceramces profile image
Vince Ramces Oliveros

There are some languages that offer Pass By Value and Pass by Reference

most programming languages are Pass By Value

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imshivanshpatel profile image
SHIVANSH PATEL

Thanks buddy

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deveshlashkari profile image
Devesh Lashkari

I never thought about this. Thanks :)