Programming Fundamentals/Pseudocode Examples for Functions

Suggested pseudocode conventions for functions along with some examples.


No standard for pseudocode syntax exists. However, there are some commonly followed conventions to help make pseudocode written by one programmer easily understood by another programmer. The following describes a method for using pseudocode for functions that would be understood by programmers. Five concepts are:

  • Use a beginning phrase word to start the function
  • Use a communication phrase word to identify the items being passed into the function
  • Use indentation to show the action part of the function
  • Use a communication phrase word to identify the items being passed out of the function
  • Use an ending phrase word to end the function
  • Use a calling phrase word to direct your program to use a function

The following is a suggested outline of function phrase words:

Item/Purpose Starting Phrase Word Ending Phrase Word
Beginning Function N/A
Communication In Pass In: none
Action N/A N/A
Communication Out Pass Out: none
Ending N/A Endfunction
Calling a Function Call: none


Here are some examples showing functions defined in pseudocode using our conventions as described above.

Example 1: pseudocode: Function with no parameter passingEdit

Function clear monitor
    Pass In: nothing
    Direct the operating system to clear the monitor
    Pass Out: nothing

Example 2: pseudocode: Function with parameter passingEdit

Function delay program so you can see the monitor
    Pass In: integer representing tenths of a second
    Using the operating system delay the program 
    Pass Out: nothing

Example 3: pseudocode: Function main calling the clear monitor functionEdit

Function main
    Pass In: nothing
    Doing some lines of code
    Call: clear monitor
    Doing some lines of code
    Pass Out: value zero to the operating system


phrase word
Words used to make pseudocode logic clear to any reader.