# Syntax Question - list multiplication

Pablo Torres tn.pablo at gmail.com
Sun Aug 19 23:51:13 CEST 2007

```Hi guys!

I am working on Conway's Game of Life right now and I've run into a
little problem.
I represent dead cells with 0s and live ones with 1s. Check this out:

>>> grid = [[0] * 3] * 3
>>> grid
[[0, 0, 0], [0, 0, 0], [0, 0, 0]]
>>> grid[0][0] = 1
[[1, 0, 0], [1, 0, 0], [1, 0, 0]]

Now, that's not what I want. I just want the first element of the
first sublist to be a 1, not the first of every one. Here's what I
tried and didn't work:

0.  grid = [[0] * 3][:] * 3    then the same grid[0][0] = 1 statement
1.  grid = [[0][:] * 3] * 3    followed by the same assignment
2.  (grid[0])[0] = 1    with the original initialization of the grid

So, that means that it isn't a problem with two different variables
refering to the same list (0. and 1. prove that). What I don't
understand is why 2. doesn't work either. I'm baby-feeding my
instructions to Python and the mistake is still there. Any ideas?

Hope you can help. Thanks in advance,

Pablo

```