I just noticed that Exit and Quit can work without brackets i.e. a single




will quit the kernel. Quite surprising!

This isn't mentioned in the document of them. Is there a list for functions with this feature?

Well, I admit I asked this question mainly to show the discovery above :D

  • $\begingroup$ Pi and E and EulerGamma though you could argue these are constants (and boringly return themselves). I'd look for functions that take no arguments, though I can't imagine there are many interesting ones that aren't constants. $\endgroup$ – barrycarter Dec 1 '14 at 16:31
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ These have been mentioned before and they came as quite a surprise to me. Following standard syntax these should be Exit[] or Quit[]. I suspect that these were included only to reduce the frustration of new users who were entering Exit and not getting the desired effect. I have never looked for additional cases though they may exist. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Wizard Dec 1 '14 at 18:29
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ They work without brackets when it's the only input to the cell, not when they are part of any expression though. Suggesting this is some sort of ancient flow control loophole, I dunno. $\endgroup$ – swish Jan 18 '17 at 7:03
  • $\begingroup$ I suppose Nothing will not fit your criterion? Tho Nothing and Nothing[] are equivalent, it is handy to be able to do things like Nothing @@ {{1}, {2}} and Nothing @@@ {{1}, {2}}. $\endgroup$ – J. M.'s technical difficulties Jul 25 '19 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M.isaway It fits, please add this as an answer :) . (BTW why do you think it doesn't fit my criterion? ) $\endgroup$ – xzczd Jul 25 '19 at 14:36

Just noticed Return can work without brackets when it's inside a dialog:

enter image description here


At the OP's request, I am adding the following:

Nothing is a function with very peculiar behavior:

Nothing === Nothing[] === Nothing[x, y]

This means that

Nothing & /@ {{a}, {b}}


Nothing /@ {{a}, {b}}


Nothing @@@ {{a}, {b}}

all give {} as the result.


Could also work without brackets.

  • $\begingroup$ (-1) I'm sorry, but Here is not a function. $\endgroup$ – xzczd Jul 25 '19 at 5:26
  • $\begingroup$ @xzczd what is the definition of a function here? p.s. how about Now? $\endgroup$ – Kuba Jul 25 '19 at 5:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Kuba Perhaps I should say "function relationship" or "Head"? Now is not, either. Both Here and Now are used without [], they're built-in symbols, but not functions. $\endgroup$ – xzczd Jul 25 '19 at 5:54
  • $\begingroup$ Right, fair enough. $\endgroup$ – Kuba Jul 25 '19 at 5:56
  • $\begingroup$ @xzczd Yes, you are right. $\endgroup$ – shelure21 Jul 25 '19 at 7:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.