simple question on list manipulation from a newbie

John Machin sjmachin at
Sun Jun 8 10:36:47 CEST 2008

On Jun 8, 4:42 pm, Sengly <Sengly.H... at> wrote:
> Thank you all for your help. I found a solution as the following:

The following is a solution to what?

> alist = [
>      {'noun': 'dog', 'domestic_dog', 'Canis_familiaris'},

That is not yet valid Python. You will get a syntax error pointing to
the comma after 'domestic_dog'. Do you mean:
(1) alist = [
   {'noun': ('dog', 'domestic_dog', 'Canis_familiaris')},
   {'noun': ('frump', 'dog')},
   # etc
or (2)
alist = [
   ('dog', 'domestic_dog', 'Canis_familiaris'),
   ('frump', 'dog'),
   # etc
or (3) something else?

>      {'noun': 'frump', 'dog'},
>      {'noun': 'dog',},
>      {'noun': 'cad', 'bounder', 'blackguard', 'dog', 'hound', 'heel'},
>      {'noun': 'frank', 'frankfurter', 'hotdog', 'hot_dog', 'dog',
> 'wiener', 'wienerwurst', 'weenie'},
>      {'noun': 'pawl', 'detent', 'click', 'dog'},
>      {'noun': 'andiron', 'firedog', 'dog', 'dog-iron'},
>      ]
> def getAll(alist):
>         list=[]
>         for i in range(0,len(alist)):
>                 list.extend(alist[i][:])

Note: the use of [:] to copy the contents of each element indicates
that you think that each element is a sequence (list/tuple/whatever)
i.e. option (2) above.

>         return list

Whatever that is solving, it could be written much more clearly as:
   answer = [] # don't shadow the builtin list function
   # and use meaningful names
   for sublist in alist:
   return answer

Aside: Why do you think you need to copy sublist? Does the plot
involve later mutation of alist?

And it can be done even more clearly using a list comprehension:
[element for sublist in alist for element in sublist]


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