Python Tuples

tuples in python

Python Tuples is a collection of Python objects much like a list. The sequence of values stored in a tuple can be of any type, and they are indexed by integers.
Values of a tuple are syntactically separated by ‘commas’. Although it is not necessary, it is more common to define a tuple by closing the sequence of values in parentheses. This helps in understanding the Python tuples more easily.

Accessing Values in Tuples

To access values in tuple, use the square brackets for slicing along with the index or indices to obtain value available at that index.

For example −


tup1 = ('physics', 'chemistry', 1997, 2000);
tup2 = (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 );
print "tup1[0]: ", tup1[0];
print "tup2[1:5]: ", tup2[1:5];


tup1[0]:  physics
tup2[1:5]:  [2, 3, 4, 5]

Updating Tuples

Tuples are immutable which means you cannot update or change the values of tuple elements. You are able to take portions of existing tuples to create new tuples as the following example demonstrates −


tup1 = (12, 34.56);
tup2 = ('abc', 'xyz');

# Following action is not valid for tuples
# tup1[0] = 100;

# So let's create a new tuple as follows
tup3 = tup1 + tup2;
print tup3;


(12, 34.56, 'abc', 'xyz')

Delete Tuple Elements

Removing individual tuple elements is not possible. There is, of course, nothing wrong with putting together another tuple with the undesired elements discarded.

To explicitly remove an entire tuple, just use the del statement.

For example −


tup = ('physics', 'chemistry', 1997, 2000);
print tup;
del tup;
print "After deleting tup : ";
print tup;


('physics', 'chemistry', 1997, 2000)
After deleting tup :
Traceback (most recent call last):
   File "", line 9, in <module>
      print tup;
NameError: name 'tup' is not defined

Basic Tuples Operations

Tuples respond to the + and * operators much like strings; they mean concatenation and repetition here too, except that the result is a new tuple, not a string.

In fact, tuples respond to all of the general sequence operations we used on strings in the prior chapter −

Python ExpressionResultsDescription
len((1, 2, 3))3Length
(1, 2, 3) + (4, 5, 6)(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)Concatenation
(‘Hi!’,) * 4(‘Hi!’, ‘Hi!’, ‘Hi!’, ‘Hi!’)Repetition
3 in (1, 2, 3)TrueMembership
for x in (1, 2, 3): print x,1 2 3Iteration

List vs. Tuple

1The literal syntax of list is shown by the [].The literal syntax of the tuple is shown by the ().
2The List is mutable.The tuple is immutable.
3 The List has the a variable length.The tuple has the fixed length.
4The list provides more functionality than a tuple.The tuple provides less functionality than the list.
5The list is used in the scenario in which we need to store the simple collections with no constraints where the value of the items can be changed.The tuple is used in the cases where we need to store the read-only collections i.e., the value of the items cannot be changed. It can be used as the key inside the dictionary.
6The lists are less memory efficient than a tuple.The tuples are more memory efficient because of its immutability.

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