Skip to main content
Engineering LibreTexts

13.6: Dictionary subtraction

  • Page ID
    40806
  • Finding the words from the book that are not in the word list from words.txt is a problem you might recognize as set subtraction; that is, we want to find all the words from one set (the words in the book) that are not in the other (the words in the list).

    subtract takes dictionaries d1 and d2 and returns a new dictionary that contains all the keys from d1 that are not in d2. Since we don’t really care about the values, we set them all to None.

    def subtract(d1, d2):
        res = dict()
        for key in d1:
            if key not in d2:
                res[key] = None
        return res
    

    To find the words in the book that are not in words.txt, we can use process_file to build a histogram for words.txt, and then subtract:

    words = process_file('words.txt')
    diff = subtract(hist, words)
    
    print("Words in the book that aren't in the word list:")
    for word in diff:
        print(word, end=' ')
    

    Here are some of the results from Emma:

    Words in the book that aren't in the word list:
    rencontre jane's blanche woodhouses disingenuousness 
    friend's venice apartment ...
    

    Some of these words are names and possessives. Others, like “rencontre”, are no longer in common use. But a few are common words that should really be in the list!

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Python provides a data structure called set that provides many common set operations. You can read about them in Section 19.5, or read the documentation at http://docs.python.org/3/library/stdtypes.html#types-set.

    Write a program that uses set subtraction to find words in the book that are not in the word list.

    Solution

    http://thinkpython2.com/code/analyze_book2.py

    • Was this article helpful?