Python Tuples

 

Tuple
Tuples are used to store multiple items in a single variable.

Tuple is one of 4 built-in data types in Python used to store collections of data, the other 3 are List, Set, and Dictionary, all with different qualities and usage.

A tuple is a collection which is ordered and unchangeable.

Tuples are written with round brackets.

Example
Create a Tuple:

Tuple Items
Tuple items are ordered, unchangeable, and allow duplicate values.

Tuple items are indexed, the first item has index [0], the second item has index [1] etc.

Ordered
When we say that tuples are ordered, it means that the items have a defined order, and that order will not change.

Unchangeable
Tuples are unchangeable, meaning that we cannot change, add or remove items after the tuple has been created.

Allow Duplicates
Since tuples are indexed, they can have items with the same value:

Example
Tuples allow duplicate values:

Tuple Length
To determine how many items a tuple has, use the len() function:

Example
Print the number of items in the tuple:

Create Tuple With One Item
To create a tuple with only one item, you have to add a comma after the item, otherwise Python will not recognize it as a tuple.

Example
One item tuple, remember the comma:

Tuple Items – Data Types
Tuple items can be of any data type:

Example
String, int and boolean data types:

A tuple can contain different data types:

Example
A tuple with strings, integers and boolean values:

From Python’s perspective, tuples are defined as objects with the data type ‘tuple’:

Example
What is the data type of a tuple?

The tuple() Constructor
It is also possible to use the tuple() constructor to make a tuple.

Example
Using the tuple() method to make a tuple:

There are four collection data types in the Python programming language:

List is a collection which is ordered and changeable. Allows duplicate members.
Tuple is a collection which is ordered and unchangeable. Allows duplicate members.
Set is a collection which is unordered, unchangeable*, and unindexed. No duplicate members.
Dictionary is a collection which is ordered** and changeable. No duplicate members.
*Set items are unchangeable, but you can remove and/or add items whenever you like.

**As of Python version 3.7, dictionaries are ordered. In Python 3.6 and earlier, dictionaries are unordered.

When choosing a collection type, it is useful to understand the properties of that type. Choosing the right type for a particular data set could mean retention of meaning, and, it could mean an increase in efficiency or security.

 

Python – Access Tuple Items


Access Tuple Items

You can access tuple items by referring to the index number, inside square brackets:

Example

Print the second item in the tuple:

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Note: The first item has index 0.


Negative Indexing

Negative indexing means start from the end.

-1 refers to the last item, -2 refers to the second last item etc.

Example

Print the last item of the tuple:

Try it Yourself »


Range of Indexes

You can specify a range of indexes by specifying where to start and where to end the range.

When specifying a range, the return value will be a new tuple with the specified items.

Example

Return the third, fourth, and fifth item:

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Note: The search will start at index 2 (included) and end at index 5 (not included).

Remember that the first item has index 0.

By leaving out the start value, the range will start at the first item:

Example

This example returns the items from the beginning to, but NOT included, “kiwi”:

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By leaving out the end value, the range will go on to the end of the list:

Example

This example returns the items from “cherry” and to the end:

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Range of Negative Indexes

Specify negative indexes if you want to start the search from the end of the tuple:

Example

This example returns the items from index -4 (included) to index -1 (excluded)

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Check if Item Exists

To determine if a specified item is present in a tuple use the in keyword:

Example

Check if “apple” is present in the tuple:

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Python – Update Tuples


Tuples are unchangeable, meaning that you cannot change, add, or remove items once the tuple is created.

But there are some workarounds.


Change Tuple Values

Once a tuple is created, you cannot change its values. Tuples are unchangeable, or immutable as it also is called.

But there is a workaround. You can convert the tuple into a list, change the list, and convert the list back into a tuple.

Example

Convert the tuple into a list to be able to change it:

Try it Yourself »


Add Items

Since tuples are immutable, they do not have a build-in append() method, but there are other ways to add items to a tuple.

1. Convert into a list: Just like the workaround for changing a tuple, you can convert it into a list, add your item(s), and convert it back into a tuple.

Example

Convert the tuple into a list, add “orange”, and convert it back into a tuple:

Try it Yourself »

2. Add tuple to a tuple. You are allowed to add tuples to tuples, so if you want to add one item, (or many), create a new tuple with the item(s), and add it to the existing tuple:

Example

Create a new tuple with the value “orange”, and add that tuple:

Try it Yourself »

Note: When creating a tuple with only one item, remember to include a comma after the item, otherwise it will not be identified as a tuple.


Note: You cannot remove items in a tuple.

Tuples are unchangeable, so you cannot remove items from it, but you can use the same workaround as we used for changing and adding tuple items:

Example

Convert the tuple into a list, remove “apple”, and convert it back into a tuple:

Try it Yourself »

Or you can delete the tuple completely:

Example

The del keyword can delete the tuple completely:

Try it Yourself »


Python – Unpack Tuples


Unpacking a Tuple

When we create a tuple, we normally assign values to it. This is called “packing” a tuple:

Example

Packing a tuple:

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But, in Python, we are also allowed to extract the values back into variables. This is called “unpacking”:

Example

Unpacking a tuple:

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Note: The number of variables must match the number of values in the tuple, if not, you must use an asterisk to collect the remaining values as a list.


Using Asterisk*

If the number of variables is less than the number of values, you can add an * to the variable name and the values will be assigned to the variable as a list:

Example

Assign the rest of the values as a list called “red”:

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If the asterisk is added to another variable name than the last, Python will assign values to the variable until the number of values left matches the number of variables left.

Example

Add a list of values the “tropic” variable:

Try it Yourself »

Python – Loop Tuples


Loop Through a Tuple

You can loop through the tuple items by using a for loop.

Example

Iterate through the items and print the values:

Try it Yourself »

Learn more about for loops in our Python For Loops Chapter.


Loop Through the Index Numbers

You can also loop through the tuple items by referring to their index number.

Use the range() and len() functions to create a suitable iterable.

Example

Print all items by referring to their index number:

Try it Yourself »


Using a While Loop

You can loop through the list items by using a while loop.

Use the len() function to determine the length of the tuple, then start at 0 and loop your way through the tuple items by refering to their indexes.

Remember to increase the index by 1 after each iteration.

Example

Print all items, using a while loop to go through all the index numbers:

Try it Yourself »

Learn more about while loops in our Python While Loops Chapter.

Python – Join Tuples


Join Two Tuples

To join two or more tuples you can use the + operator:

Example

Join two tuples:

Try it Yourself »


Multiply Tuples

If you want to multiply the content of a tuple a given number of times, you can use the * operator:

Example

Multiply the fruits tuple by 2:

Try it Yourself »

Python – Tuple Methods


Tuple Methods

Python has two built-in methods that you can use on tuples.

Method Description
count() Returns the number of times a specified value occurs in a tuple
index() Searches the tuple for a specified value and returns the position of where it was found

Python – Tuple Exercises


Test Yourself With Exercises

Now you have learned a lot about tuples, and how to use them in Python.

Are you ready for a test?

Try to insert the missing part to make the code work as expected:

Exercise:

Print the first item in the

Go to the Exercise section and test all of our Python Tuple Exercises:

Python Tuple Exercises

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