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Engineering LibreTexts

8.5: List Slices

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 fold, spindle, or mutilate 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']
>>> print(t)
['a', 'x', 'y', 'd', 'e', 'f']