Remove all the elements that occur in one list from another


Question

Let's say I have two lists, l1 and l2. I want to perform l1 - l2, which returns all elements of l1 not in l2.

I can think of a naive loop approach to doing this, but that is going to be really inefficient. What is a pythonic and efficient way of doing this?

As an example, if I have l1 = [1,2,6,8] and l2 = [2,3,5,8], l1 - l2 should return [1,6]

1
284
6/22/2015 5:09:30 PM

Python has a language feature called List Comprehensions that is perfectly suited to making this sort of thing extremely easy. The following statement does exactly what you want and stores the result in l3:

l3 = [x for x in l1 if x not in l2]

l3 will contain [1, 6].

382
8/23/2019 9:24:23 PM

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