Python List Methods

What are Python lists and why is it used? What are the various Python list methods?

This blog gives in-depth knowledge of Python List Methods. Read our blog to learn more...

Python List Methods

Sep 04, 2022    By Team YoungWonks *

What is a list?

A list is a collection of items. A list is a data structure in programming that is used to store data. The data can take any form. A list is present in all programming languages; however, it is referred to by a different word in each one. In C++ and Java, for example, it is referred to as arrays. In Python programming, it is known as a list. We will learn Python lists in depth by manipulating lists in this Python tutorial.


How do we use a list in Python Programming?

It is formed with square brackets and can contain any data type, such as strings (str), integers (int), floats, and booleans (bool). A comma is used between each item to separate it. They are mutable in nature, which means that direct changes can be made to a list. Changes to the list can be made using the built-in functions.


Python List Methods

Below is the list of Python commands that can be used to directly manipulate a list. These commands are often referred to as list functions or, more accurately, list methods.

1. Create a list

At first, we will learn how to create an empty list.

Syntax: list = [ ]

To create a list of items, items name are added into the list one after the other.

Syntax: list = [ item1, item2, item3 ]

python list methods

2. Count number of items in a list

To count how many items are present in the list, we use the length function to find the length of the list.

Syntax: len(list)

python list methods length

3. Add Items into a list

We can add items into a list using two ways.

a. Using the name of the item: This method adds an item at the end of the list.

Syntax: list.append(item name)

python list methods append

b. Using index: This method is used to add the new item at a specific position.

Syntax: list.insert(index, item name)

index = position of the item; start value = 0 (index of first element)

python list methods insert

4. Remove Items from a list

We can remove items from a list using two ways.

a. Using the name of the item:

Syntax: list.remove(item name)

python list methods remove

b. Using index: This method is used to remove an item from a specific position.

Syntax: list.pop(index)

The default value is -1. -1 is the index of the last item there it removes the last item from the list.

This method has a return value. Similarly, to remove the first item you can specify the index as 0.

python list methods pop

5. Get items from a list

We can use index to get list items.

Syntax: list[index of the element]

6. Find position of an Item

This method returns the index of the element.

Syntax: list.index(item name)

Let us look into the examples of the last two methods given below:

python list methods index

7. Sort the list

Using this method, the sorted list returns strings into alphabetical order and a list of numbers in ascending order.

Syntax: list.sort( )

python list methods sorting

8. Reverse the list

In this method, the elements of the list is reversed.

Syntax: list.reverse()

python list methods reversed

To convert the list into reverse alphabetical order or descending order:

Syntax: list.sort (reverse=1)

Here, the parameter reverses the list after sorting it.

python list methods reverse alphabetical ordered list

9. Replace list items

We make use of index to replace the items of a list.

Syntax: list[index of the element] = new item

python list methods update

10. Count the number of specific items

This method returns of the count of the item in the list.

Syntax: list.count(item name)

11. Make a copy of the list

Lists can be copied to create its duplicate and use it.

Syntax: new list = list.copy()

12. Add Multiple items using one-step

Here, we can add multiple items in the form of a list and the extend method is used to add all of the items into the original list.

Syntax: list.extend([item1, item2])

13. Empty the list

This function removes all the items of the list.

Syntax: list.clear()

Now, let us look into the examples for the above four methods:

python list methods extend clear count copy

14. Get each item of the list

Lists are iterable i.e. we can make use of a loop on it.


for i in list:

      print (i)

Here, the for loop variable stores each item of the list one by one.

python list methods loop on a list

15. Maximum and Minimum number from the list.

Syntax: max(list); min(list)

This returns the maximum and minimum number from a list of numbers.

16. Random module on lists

We can use a few random module functions on a python list. This can perform specific actions on the list such as picking random item, jumble up the items of a list.

a. Pick random item from a list:

Syntax: random.choice(list)

b. Pick random item from a list as a list:

Syntax: random.sample(list, 1)

Here, the second parameter is to specify how many items we require.

c. Randomly jumble the items of a list.

Syntax: random.shuffle(list)

python list methods random module with lists

17. String into list

To convert strings into a list, we can use a few list methods. Certain actions, such as rearranging the characters of a string, are not possible with the string method. As a result, the list is a workaround for performing such operations.

a. List of words: Convert a string into list of words.

Syntax: list.split(‘character’)

Here, the parameter is given to convert a string into list of word. A string can be split from any character.

b. List of letters: Convert a string into list of letters.

Syntax: list(listvar)

Here, list is the keyword for this method, list variable is added as the parameter.

python list methods random string to list

All of the functions listed above enable the user to carry out the necessary actions. In Python, however, there is another type of list known as tuples. These are immutable in nature, which means that changes cannot be made directly in them using the methods listed above. They are formed with parenthesis, and items are separated by commas.

Syntax: tuple = (item1, item2, item3)

python list methods tuple

Now that we have learnt all the Python list methods. Let us look into list comprehension. This is a shorter way to create a new list of items or create a new list from existing list.

Syntax: list = [ i for i in range() if (condition)]

python list methods list comprehension


In this blog, we learned about all of the built-in Python list methods, as well as how to use the random module on a list and convert a string into a list. You can now incorporate these into your programmes. In a future blog, we will go over the Python string methods in depth.

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*Contributors: Written by Aayushi Jayaswal; Lead image by Shivendra Singh

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