th 534 - Top Reasons Why Ast.Literal_eval('5 * 7') Fails

Top Reasons Why Ast.Literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) Fails

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Python is a great programming language that can be utilized for various purposes. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced programmer, there may be times when certain errors occur while writing code. Ast.literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) is one such error that programmers may encounter. This error arises when attempting to use literal_eval() in Python on an expression that cannot be evaluated due to a syntax error or some other reason.

If you have ever encountered this error, then you know just how frustrating it can be. Fortunately, there are several reasons why this error may occur, and if you understand them, it will be easier to avoid them in the future. Among the key reasons that ast.literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) fails include improper syntax, invalid data type conversion, and mismatched parentheses, among others. By taking time to examine these factors, you can figure out how to address this error and prevent it from recurring in your code.

This article explores the top reasons why ast.literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) fails and how to fix them. Not only will it help you to better understand this error but it will also provide useful tips on how to troubleshoot this problem when it occurs. So if you want to master Python programming techniques and avoid frequent errors, read on and discover what you need to know to become a better programmer.

With Python becoming one of the most widely used programming languages around the globe, mastering its nuances can be quite rewarding. However, it’s no secret that dealing with errors can be challenging, especially for beginners. If you have ever scratched your head trying to figure out why ast.literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) fails or simply want to enhance your Python skills, this article is definitely for you. Read through it and learn how to overcome the common pitfalls that lead to this error so that you can code smarter, not harder!

th?q=Why%20Does%20Ast - Top Reasons Why Ast.Literal_eval('5 * 7') Fails
“Why Does Ast.Literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) Fail?” ~ bbaz


In Python, the function Literal_eval() is a built-in function that is used to convert a string representing a Python expression into an actual Python expression. However, there are certain reasons why this function may fail when trying to evaluate an expression. In this article, we will discuss the top reasons why Ast.Literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) fails, and what you can do to avoid these issues.

Reason 1: Syntax Errors

One of the most common reasons why Ast.Literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) may fail is due to syntax errors in the expression. This can occur if the expression is not written correctly, such as if there are missing parentheses or other syntax errors. In order to avoid this issue, it is important to always double-check your expression before trying to evaluate it.


Ast.Literal_eval(‘(5 * 7’) will fail due to the missing closing parenthesis.

Reason 2: Invalid Object Types

Another reason why Ast.Literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) may fail is because of invalid object types. If the expression contains objects that cannot be evaluated by python, for example, strings, sets, or dictionaries the function will fail.


Ast.Literal_eval({‘name’: ‘John’} * 2) will fail, as dictionaries cannot be multiplied.

Reason 3: Use of Inappropriate Operators

The use of inappropriate operators in the expression can also be a reason for failure. Some operators may not be recognized by python, or they may cause conflicts in expression evaluation, such as bitwise operators.


Ast.Literal_eval(‘5 >> 1’) will fail because bitwise operators are not supported by Literal_eval().

Reason 4: Use of Incompatible Libraries or Modules

Likewise, Literal_eval() may fail if the expression includes the use of incompatible libraries or modules that were not imported. For instance, if an expression includes NumPy or Pandas library, Literal_eval() will fail without proper imports of these libraries.


In order to use NumPy in the expression, it should explicitly be imported with ‘import NumPy as np’ statement.

Reason 5: Security Risks

Due to the fact that Literal_eval() can evaluate any code that was passed as a string, in particular an expression, it poses security risks for inadequate input validation. This may allow injected malicious code execution, causing security breaches.


Literal_eval(“__import__(‘os’).system(‘ls’)”) can execute arbitrary commands and expose unintended files and directories.

Table Comparison

Reasons of Failure Examples
Syntax Errors Ast.Literal_eval(‘(5 * 7’)
Invalid Object Types Ast.Literal_eval({‘name’: ‘John’} * 2)
Use of Inappropriate Operators Ast.Literal_eval(‘5 >> 1’)
Use of Incompatible Libraries or Modules Literal_eval() containing NumPy without import
Security Risks Literal_eval(__import__(‘os’).system(‘ls’))


In conclusion, Ast.Literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) can fail for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons include syntax errors, invalid object types, use of inappropriate operators, use of incompatible libraries or modules, and security risks. Nonetheless, these failures can often be mitigated or avoided by careful expression review, proper handling and error management, input validation, and using only trusted code sources.

Dear Visitors,

We hope you have gained valuable insights for your Python programming journey through our article on the Top Reasons Why ast.literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) Fails. As we conclude, we would like to remind you of the key takeaways from the article.

Firstly, we emphasized the importance of understanding Python’s syntax and data types when using the literal_eval() function. Common syntax errors like using quotes around integers or missing parentheses can cause the function to fail.

Secondly, we discussed the risks of using eval() instead of literal_eval(). Eval() can execute arbitrary code injected by malicious inputs and hence should be avoided without proper input sanitization.

Lastly, we highlighted the significance of error messages in debugging. Python’s error messages can provide valuable clues to what is causing a failure and help you pinpoint the root cause.

We hope that you enjoyed reading through our article and found it informative. Stay curious, keep learning, and happy coding!

Best regards,

The Blog Team

Here are some of the top questions people ask about why ast.literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) fails:

  1. Why doesn’t ast.literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) work?
  2. The reason why ast.literal_eval(‘5 * 7’) fails is because ‘5 * 7’ is not a valid Python expression. The expression should be a single literal, a container literal, a string literal, a number literal, or a name reference. Since ‘5 * 7’ contains an arithmetic operator, it is not a valid literal.

  3. What should I use instead of ast.literal_eval(‘5 * 7’)?
  4. If you want to evaluate the expression ‘5 * 7’ as a Python expression, you can use the eval() function instead. However, be careful when using eval() as it can execute arbitrary code and pose a security risk if the input is not trusted.

  5. Can I use ast.literal_eval() for other types of expressions?
  6. Yes, ast.literal_eval() can be used to evaluate a wide range of literal expressions in Python. This includes lists, tuples, dictionaries, sets, and booleans. Just make sure that the input expression is a valid Python literal expression.

  7. What are some common errors I might encounter when using ast.literal_eval()?
  8. Some common errors you might encounter when using ast.literal_eval() include SyntaxError, ValueError, TypeError, and NameError. These errors usually occur when the input expression is not a valid Python literal expression or when there are syntax or type errors in the expression.

  9. How can I avoid errors when using ast.literal_eval()?
  10. To avoid errors when using ast.literal_eval(), make sure that the input expression is a valid Python literal expression and that it does not contain any arithmetic operators or other invalid characters. Also, be sure to handle any exceptions that might be raised when using ast.literal_eval().