# 10.5: List slices

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The slice operator also works on lists:

>>> t = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f']
>>> t[1:3]
['b', 'c']
>>> t[:4]
['a', 'b', 'c', 'd']
>>> t[3:]
['d', 'e', 'f']


If you omit the first index, the slice starts at the beginning. If you omit the second, the slice goes to the end. So if you omit both, the slice is a copy of the whole list.

>>> t[:]
['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f']


Since lists are mutable, it is often useful to make a copy before performing operations that modify lists.

A slice operator on the left side of an assignment can update multiple elements:

>>> t = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f']
>>> t[1:3] = ['x', 'y']
>>> t
['a', 'x', 'y', 'd', 'e', 'f']


This page titled 10.5: List slices is shared under a CC BY-NC 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Allen B. Downey (Green Tea Press) .