Intro to Python
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Lists, Sets, and Dictionaries

This section covers:
Lists
Sets
Dictionaries
In this section, you’ll learn more about three types of
data structures
. You can think of them as ways to organize and store data.

Lists
Lists
are used to store sequences of values. They are useful if you want to keep track of the order of the values. The values in the list are called
elements
or
items
.

Here are some examples of lists. Notice how lists can store any number of items of any type. Lists can also be empty.
cheeses = ['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda']
numbers = [17, 123]
empty = []
Accessing list elements
You can access elements in a list by using
index notation
. The first element is at index 0. For example, running
print(cheeses[1])
will print
Edam
.

Adding elements
You can add elements to a list by calling the
append
function.
cheeses = ['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda']
cheeses.
append
('Parmesan')
# cheeses is now ['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda', 'Parmesan']

Removing elements
You can also remove elements from a list in a couple ways. If you know the index of the element, you can use
pop
.
cheeses = ['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda']
my_cheese = cheeses.
pop
(1)
# This will remove and return the element at index 1
# my_cheese is 'Edam'
# cheeses is now ['Cheddar', 'Gouda']

If you know the element you want to remove, but you don’t know its index, you can use
remove
. This function does not return anything.
cheeses = ['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda']
cheeses.
remove
('Edam')
# cheeses is now ['Cheddar', 'Gouda']

Length of a list
Here is how you get the length of a list:
cheeses = ['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda']
number_of_cheeses =
len
(cheeses)
# number_of_cheeses is 3

cheeses.append('Parmesan')
number_of_cheeses =
len
(cheeses)
# number_of_cheeses is now 4

Checking list membership
You can use the
in
keyword to check if an element is contained in a list. The expression will return
True
if the list contains the element and
False
otherwise.
cheeses = ['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda']
print('Gouda'
in
cheeses)
# prints True
print('Chocolate'
in
cheeses)
# prints False

Sets
Sets
are like lists, but they do not store duplicate entries, and they are unordered (i.e. there is no “first” element in a set).

Here is how you can create a set in Python:
cheeses = set(['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda'])
empty = set()

Adding elements
You can add elements to a set by calling the
add
function.
cheeses = set(['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda'])
cheeses.
add
('Parmesan')
# cheeses is a set that contains 'Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda', 'Parmesan'

number_of_cheeses = len(cheeses)
# number_of_cheeses is 4

If you try to add an element that is already in the set, Python will ignore the add.
cheeses = set(['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda'])
cheeses.
add
('Gouda')
# cheeses is a set that contains 'Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda'

number_of_cheeses = len(cheeses)
# number_of_cheeses is 3

Removing elements
You can remove elements in a set by calling the
remove
function.
cheeses = set(['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda'])
cheeses.
remove
('Edam')
# cheeses is a set that contains 'Cheddar' and 'Gouda'

number_of_cheeses = len(cheeses)
# number_of_cheeses is 2

Checking set membership
You can use the
in
keyword to check if an element is contained in a set. The expression will return
True
if the set contains the element and
False
otherwise.
cheeses = set(['Cheddar', 'Edam', 'Gouda'])
print('Gouda'
in
cheeses)
# prints True
print('Chocolate'
in
cheeses)
# prints False

Dictionaries
Dictionaries
are useful when you want to store
values
associated with a particular
“key”
. For example, if you want to keep track of your friend’s phone numbers, you can use a dictionary.

phone_numbers = {
'Breonna'
:
'(408)-123-4567'
,
'Sandra'
:
'(408)-234-5678'
}

You can also add or update each key-value pair individually.
phone_numbers = {}
phone_numbers[
'Breonna'
] =
'(408)-123-4567'
phone_numbers[
'Sandra'
] =
'(408)-234-5678'

Capture d’écran 2020-10-04 à 11.54.33 AM.png

Accessing values
Here is how you retrieve the value associated with a given key in a dictionary.
phone_numbers = {
'Breonna'
:
'(408)-123-4567'
,
'Sandra'
:
'(408)-234-5678'
}

breonnas_number = phone_numbers[
'Breonna'
]
# The value of breonnas_number is now '(408)-123-4567'

Checking dictionary membership
You can use the
in
keyword to check if a something is a
key
in a dictionary.
phone_numbers = {
'Breonna'
:
'(408)-123-4567'
,
'Sandra'
:
'(408)-234-5678'
}

print('Breonna'
in
phone_numbers)
# prints True

print('Hector'
in
phone_numbers)
# prints False

print('(408)-123-4567'
in
phone_numbers)
# prints False

Other dictionary functions
Here is how you get all the keys in a dictionary.
phone_numbers = {
'Breonna'
:
'(408)-123-4567'
,
'Sandra'
:
'(408)-234-5678'
}

friends =
list
(phone_numbers.
keys
())
# friends is a list ['Breonna', 'Sandra']

Here is how you get all the values in a dictionary.
phone_numbers = {
'Breonna'
:
'(408)-123-4567'
,
'Sandra'
:
'(408)-234-5678'
}

all_numbers =
list
(phone_numbers.
values
())
# all_numbers is a list ['(408)-123-4567', '(408)-234-5678']

Data Structure Tasks
9
Task
Status
1
Learn about lists
Not Started
2
Learn about sets
Not Started
3
Learn about dictionaries
Not Started
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