What is the syntax to insert one list into another list in python?


Question

Given two lists:

x = [1,2,3]
y = [4,5,6]

What is the syntax to:

  1. Insert x into y such that y now looks like [1, 2, 3, [4, 5, 6]]?
  2. Insert all the items of x into y such that y now looks like [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]?
1
172
10/7/2016 9:33:05 AM

Accepted Answer

Do you mean append?

>>> x = [1,2,3]
>>> y = [4,5,6]
>>> x.append(y)
>>> x
[1, 2, 3, [4, 5, 6]]

Or merge?

>>> x = [1,2,3]
>>> y = [4,5,6]
>>> x + y
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
>>> x.extend(y)
>>> x
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] 
332
1/8/2015 10:03:20 PM

The question does not make clear what exactly you want to achieve.

List has the append method, which appends its argument to the list:

>>> list_one = [1,2,3]
>>> list_two = [4,5,6]
>>> list_one.append(list_two)
>>> list_one
[1, 2, 3, [4, 5, 6]]

There's also the extend method, which appends items from the list you pass as an argument:

>>> list_one = [1,2,3]
>>> list_two = [4,5,6]
>>> list_one.extend(list_two)
>>> list_one
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

And of course, there's the insert method which acts similarly to append but allows you to specify the insertion point:

>>> list_one.insert(2, list_two)
>>> list_one
[1, 2, [4, 5, 6], 3, 4, 5, 6]

To extend a list at a specific insertion point you can use list slicing (thanks, @florisla):

>>> l = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
>>> l[2:2] = ['a', 'b', 'c']
>>> l
[1, 2, 'a', 'b', 'c', 3, 4, 5]

List slicing is quite flexible as it allows to replace a range of entries in a list with a range of entries from another list:

>>> l = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
>>> l[2:4] = ['a', 'b', 'c'][1:3]
>>> l
[1, 2, 'b', 'c', 5]

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