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Learn Python: Inheritance and Polymorphism

You may be wondering at this point why we would even want to have two different classes with two differently implemented methods to use the same method name. This style is especially useful when we have an object for which it might not matter which class the object is an instance of. Instead, we’re interested in whether that object can perform a given task.

If we have the following code:

class Chess: def __init__(self): self.board = setup_board() self.pieces = add_chess_pieces() def play(self): print("Playing chess!") class Checkers: def __init__(self): self.board = setup_board() self.pieces = add_checkers_pieces() def play(self): print("Playing checkers!")

In the code above we define two classes, Chess and Checkers. In Chess we define a constructor that sets up the board and pieces, and a .play() method. Checkers also defines a .play() method. If we have a play_game() function that takes an instance of Chess or Checkers, it could call the .play() method without having to check which class the object is an instance of.

def play_game(chess_or_checkers): chess_game = Chess() checkers_game = Checkers() chess_game_2 = Chess() for game in [chess_game, checkers_game, chess_game_2]: play_game(game) """ Prints out the following: Playing chess! Playing checkers! Playing chess!

In this code, we defined a play_game function that could take either a Chess object or a Checkers object. We instantiate a few objects and then call play_game on each.

When two classes have the same method names and attributes, we say they implement the same interface. An interface in Python usually refers to the names of the methods and the arguments they take. Other programming languages have more rigid definitions of what an interface is, but it usually hinges on the fact that different objects from different classes can perform the same operation (even if it is implemented differently for each class).



In we’ve defined an InsurancePolicy class. Create a subclass of InsurancePolicy called VehicleInsurance.


Create a different subclass of InsurancePolicy called HomeInsurance.


Give VehicleInsurance a .get_rate() method that takes self as a parameter. Return .001 multiplied by the price of the vehicle.


Give HomeInsurance a .get_rate() method that takes self as a parameter. Return .00005 multiplied by the price of the home.

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