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Python Strings, Lists, Functions, and Dictionaries

Python Strings, Lists, Functions, and Dictionaries

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To update string, all you need to do is to update variable that is holding the string we

want to update with new value. That new value can be completely different or can be

related with the previous one. For example:

When this code is executed, it produces following result:

With the plus sign to the previous string we pasted the word “Python”, but our new word

started on the seventh position because of var1[:6] part of the code.


The “\” backslash character encodes difficult-to-type characters into a string. We use

them if we want in the string to insert double quotes. For example:

In this scenario Python will get confused because it will think the quotes around “know”

represent end of the string. To solve this problem we are escaping double quotes.

“I don’t \”know\” him.”

There are many escape characters we might need. Below, in Table Three, you can find

the most common escape characters and description for each one of them.

Table 3: Escape characters


Table Four shows the special characters for string manipulation. In addition to the

description of each character, there is a brief example. The values for the variables a

and b are shown below.

Table 4 String Special operators


Triple quotes are useful because they allow strings to span through multiple lines,

including verbatim NEWLINEs, TABs and any other special characters. You can use

three consecutive single or double quotes.

When you perform the above written code, the result will be the following:


These methods are built-in and there is no need for additional installations.

• capitalize() - The first letter in a string is a uppercase.

• find(str, beg=0 , end=len(string)) - Determine if str occurs in string or in a

substring of string if starting index beg and ending index end are given returns index

if found and -1 otherwise.

• index(str, beg=0, end=len(string)) - Same as find(), but raises an exception if str

is not found.

• isalnum() - Returns true if string has at least 1 character and all characters are

alphanumeric and false otherwise.

• isalpha() - Returns true if string has at least 1 character and all characters are

alphabetic and false otherwise.

• isdigit() - Returns true if string contains only digits and false otherwise.

• islower() - Returns true if string has at least 1 cased character and all cased

characters are in lowercase and false otherwise.

• isnumeric() - Returns true if a unicode string contains only numeric characters

and false otherwise.

• isupper() - Returns true if string has at least one cased character and all cased

characters are in uppercase and false otherwise.

• len(string) - Returns the length of the string

• lower() - Converts all uppercase letters in string to lowercase.

• lstrip() - Removes all leading whitespace in string.

• split(str="", num=string.count(str)) - Splits string according to delimiter str

(space if not provided) and returns list of substrings; split into at most num

substrings if given.

• startswith(str, beg=0,end=len(string)) - Determines if string or a substring of

string (if starting index beg and ending index end are given) starts with substring

str; returns true if so and false otherwise.

• strip([chars]) - Performs both lstrip() and rstrip() on string

• upper() - Converts lowercase letters in string to uppercase.

• isdecimal() - Returns true if a unicode string contains only decimal characters and

false otherwise.

5.2. LIS TS

Python lists can be written as a list of comma-separated values between square

brackets. Entered values do not need to be of the same type. For example:

As with the strings, the first element is at the position 0.


To access an item in the list, we need to enter element position in square brackets next to

a variable in which the list is located. In case we want to access more then one element,

instead of element position we need to enter position interval. For example:

When the above code is executed, it produces the following result:


It is possible to update single or multiple elements of lists by entering element position

you want to update in square brackets, next to variable that holds the list. For example:

In code written above we change third element in the list from string “Raspberry” to

integer value 2018. When we run the above written code, the result will be the next:


To delete element from list, we can use del statement. For example:

With this code we want to delete third element of the list. When we run the code, we get

following output:


List operators are much like strings operators, and they even have the same behavior. In

table five we will check out most common list operators.

Table 5: List operators


Following functions are built-in and there is no need for additional installations.

• cmp(list1, list2) - Compares elements of both lists.

• len(list) - Gives the total length of the list.

• max(list) - Returns item from the list with max value.

• min(list) - Returns item from the list with min value.

• list(seq) - Converts a tuple into list.


Python includes following list methods:

• list.append(obj) - Appends object obj to list

• list.count(obj) - Returns count of how many times obj occurs in list

• list.extend(seq) - Appends the contents of seq to list

• list.index(obj) - Returns the lowest index in list that obj appears

• list.insert(index, obj) - Inserts object obj into list at offset index

• list.pop(obj=list[-1]) -Removes and returns last object or obj from list

• list.remove(obj) - Removes object obj from list

• list.reverse() - Reverses objects of list in place

• list.sort([func]) - Sorts objects of list, use compare func if given

An example of some of the above mentioned methods:

When we run above written code, we will get the following result:


Functions allow us to order our code by dividing it into useful blocks. In this way, code

is reusable and more readable. By using functions and reusing the code we can save

some time. Defining the function is simple. Every function must begin with the reserved

word “def”. After “def” word we need to write the function name and the parenthesis. If

we have any input parameters, they go inside the parenthesis. The code block within

every function starts with a colon “:” and is indented. The return statement exits a

function. It can pass expression back to the caller or if it doesn’t have any arguments it

returns “None”. In example bellow we will see function that takes string as input

parameter and prints it out.


After we defined function, we also called it and passed it input parameter. We call

function simply by writing its name with parenthesis. If we have input parameter, we

have to write it inside of parenthesis. It is very important to remember that if we define

input parameter in function and call it without passing one, we will get an error.


There are few function arguments:

• Required arguments

These arguments must be passed to a function in correct order. The number of

arguments passed must match with function definition. An example of these

arguments can be seen above.

• Keyword arguments

If we use keyword arguments when calling a function, we do not take into account

the order of parameters in function definition. By using keywords Python can match

passed arguments with defined input parameters. For example:

As we can see, when we defined function, first input parameter is “str” and second is

“year”. When we are calling function and passing arguments we are entering keywords .

Although the order is reversed, function will run smoothly and the result will be:

• Default arguments

Default arguments are arguments that are taking default value that is defined inside

the function if no other value is passed. Like in keyword arguments, order of

parameters does not matter. In example bellow we will see how it works:


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Python Strings, Lists, Functions, and Dictionaries

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