A tuple in Python is similar to a list. The difference between the two is that we cannot change the elements of a tuple once it is assigned whereas we can change the elements of a list.

In short, a tuple is an immutable list. A tuple can not be changed in any way once it is created.


  • Ordered
  • Unchangeble
  • Allows duplicate

Plan of attack

  • Creating a Tuple
  • Accessing items
  • Editing items
  • Adding items
  • Deleting items
  • Operations on Tuples
  • Tuple Functions

Creating Tuples:

  1. Empty Tuple:
   t1 = ()

Explanation: This code creates an empty tuple t1 using parentheses with no elements inside. The print(t1) statement then outputs the empty tuple. Tuples are ordered and immutable sequences in Python.

  1. Tuple with a Single Item:
   t2 = ('hello',)

Explanation: Here, a tuple t2 is created with a single element, the string ‘hello’. Note the trailing comma after ‘hello’ – it is necessary to indicate that this is a tuple with one element. The second print statement displays the type of the tuple, which should show <class 'tuple'>.

  1. Homogeneous Tuple:
   t3 = (1, 2, 3, 4)

Explanation: This code defines a tuple t3 containing integers. Tuples can hold elements of any data type, and in this case, it contains a sequence of integers (1, 2, 3, and 4).

  1. Heterogeneous Tuple:
   t4 = (1, 2.5, True, [1, 2, 3])

Explanation: The tuple t4 is created with elements of different data types, including an integer, a float, a boolean, and a list. Tuples allow for the mixing of data types within their elements.

  1. Nested Tuple:
   t5 = (1, 2, 3, (4, 5))

Explanation: Here, a tuple t5 is created with a nested tuple as its fourth element. Tuples can contain other tuples as elements, enabling the creation of nested structures.

  1. Using Type Conversion:
   t6 = tuple('hello')

Explanation: This code converts the string ‘hello’ into a tuple t6 using the tuple() constructor. Each character in the string becomes an individual element in the resulting tuple. The print(t6) statement then displays the tuple.

Note: There’s a closing parenthesis typo in the last line of the t6 code. I corrected it for clarity:


Accessing Items:

  1. Indexing:

Explanation: In this code snippet, t3 is a tuple containing elements (1, 2, 3, 4). The first print statement displays the entire tuple. The second and third print statements demonstrate indexing – accessing individual elements of the tuple. t3[0] fetches the first element (1), and t3[-1] fetches the last element (4) using negative indexing.

  1. Slicing:

Explanation: The tuple t5 contains nested tuples. This code snippet uses slicing to access the first element of the last tuple in t5. t5[-1] refers to the last tuple, and [0] extracts the first element of that tuple.

Editing Items:

  1. Editing Items (Error):
   t3[0] = 100

Explanation: This code attempts to modify the first element of the tuple t3. However, tuples are immutable in Python, meaning their elements cannot be changed once they are assigned. Therefore, trying to assign a new value to t3[0] will result in an error.

Immutable Nature:

  1. Immutable Nature (Error Explanation):
   # This code will raise an error
   t3[0] = 100

Explanation: The attempt to modify a tuple’s element, as shown in the commented code, will result in a TypeError. Tuples are immutable, so you cannot reassign values to their elements after creation. If you need a data structure with mutable elements, consider using a list instead of a tuple.

Adding Items:


Explanation: This code snippet prints the contents of the tuple t3. However, it’s important to note that adding items to an existing tuple is not possible. Tuples are immutable, meaning once they are created, their elements cannot be modified or appended. If you need to add or change elements dynamically, consider using a list instead of a tuple.

Deleting Items:

  1. Deleting Entire Tuple:
   del t3

Explanation: The code attempts to print the contents of the tuple t3, then deletes the entire tuple using the del statement. After the deletion, trying to print t3 will result in an error because the tuple no longer exists.

  1. Slicing for Deletion:
   t = (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Explanation: This code uses slicing to select a subset of elements in the tuple t. The slicing notation t[-1:-4:-1] extracts the last three elements of the tuple in reverse order.

  1. Deleting Element from Nested Tuple (Error):
   del t5[-1]

Explanation: This code attempts to delete the last element from the tuple t5. However, tuples are immutable, and the attempt to delete an element using del will result in an error. Tuples do not support item deletion or modification after creation. If you need such flexibility, consider using a list instead.

Operations on Tuples:

  1. Concatenation (+):
   t1 = (1, 2, 3, 4)
   t2 = (5, 6, 7, 8)
   print(t1 + t2)

Explanation: The + operator concatenates two tuples (t1 and t2) to create a new tuple containing all the elements from both tuples. The result is printed, showing (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

  1. Repetition (*):
   print(t1 * 3)

Explanation: The * operator replicates the elements of the tuple t1 three times, creating a new tuple. The result is printed, displaying (1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4).

  1. Membership Check:
   1 in t1

Explanation: The in keyword is used to check if the element 1 is present in the tuple t1. This expression will evaluate to True since 1 is indeed present in t1.

  1. Iteration:
   for i in t1:

Explanation: This code snippet demonstrates iteration through the elements of the tuple t1. The for loop iterates over each element in the tuple, and the print(i) statement prints each element on a new line.

Tuple Functions:

  1. Length (len):
   t = (1, 2, 3, 4)

Explanation: The len() function is used to determine the number of elements in the tuple t. In this example, it will return 4 since there are four elements in the tuple.

  1. Sum (sum):

Explanation: The sum() function calculates the sum of all elements in the tuple t. For this particular tuple, the result will be 10 (1 + 2 + 3 + 4).

  1. Minimum (min):

Explanation: The min() function returns the smallest element in the tuple t. In this case, it will return 1.

  1. Maximum (max):

Explanation: The max() function returns the largest element in the tuple t. Here, it will return 4.

  1. Sorted (sorted):
   sorted(t, reverse=True)

Explanation: The sorted() function returns a new sorted list from the elements of the tuple t. The reverse=True argument sorts the elements in descending order. The result is a new list: [4, 3, 2, 1].

  1. Count:
   t = (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Explanation: The count() method is used to count the occurrences of a specified value (here, 50) in the tuple t. The result will be 0 since 50 is not present in the tuple.

  1. Index:

Explanation: The index() method is used to find the index of the first occurrence of a specified value (here, 50) in the tuple t. If the value is not found, it will raise a ValueError.

Difference between Lists and Tuples:

  1. Syntax:
  • Lists: Defined using square brackets [].
  • Tuples: Defined using parentheses ().

2. Mutability:

  • Lists: Mutable (can be modified after creation).
  • Tuples: Immutable (cannot be modified after creation).

3. Speed:

  • Lists: Slightly slower due to mutability.
  • Tuples: Slightly faster due to immutability.

4. Memory:

  • Lists: Consume more memory due to flexibility (dynamic size).
  • Tuples: Consume less memory as they are fixed in size.

5. Built-in Functionality:

  • Lists: More built-in methods for modification (e.g., append, extend, remove).
  • Tuples: Fewer built-in methods due to immutability.

6. Error Prone:

  • Lists: More error-prone in certain scenarios due to mutability.
  • Tuples: Less error-prone as they are immutable and less likely to be accidentally modified.

7. Usability:

  • Lists: Suitable for situations where the data needs to be modified or extended frequently.
  • Tuples: Suitable for situations where data should remain constant, providing a safeguard against accidental changes.
Performance Comparison:
import time
import sys

# Lists
L = list(range(100000000))
start = time.time()
for i in L:
    i * 5
print('List time', time.time() - start)

# Tuples
T = tuple(range(100000000))
start = time.time()
for i in T:
    i * 5
print('Tuple time', time.time() - start)

# Memory Comparison
L = list(range(1000))
T = tuple(range(1000))
print('List size', sys.getsizeof(L))
print('Tuple size', sys.getsizeof(T))

Modifying Variables:

# Lists (Reference)
a = [1, 2, 3]
b = a
print(a)  # Output: [1, 2, 3, 4]
print(b)  # Output: [1, 2, 3, 4]

# Tuples (Immutable)
a = (1, 2, 3)
b = a
a = a + (4,)
print(a)  # Output: (1, 2, 3, 4)
print(b)  # Output: (1, 2, 3)


  • The first code block compares the iteration time of a list (L) and a tuple (T) containing a large number of elements. Tuples generally show better performance in this scenario.
  • The second code block compares the memory size of a small list (L) and a small tuple (T).
  • The third code block demonstrates the difference in behavior when modifying variables. Lists, being mutable, share references, while tuples, being immutable, create new references when modified.

Why Use Tuples?

  1. Special Syntax:
  • Tuples provide a special syntax for creating ordered and immutable sequences. They use parentheses () to define elements.

2. Tuple Unpacking:

  • Tuple unpacking allows the simultaneous assignment of values to multiple variables from a tuple. This can make code concise and readable.

3. Example of Tuple Unpacking:

   a, b, c = (1, 2, 3)
   print(a, b, c)


   1 2 3

Explanation: The values from the tuple (1, 2, 3) are unpacked into the variables a, b, and c.

  1. Unpacking with Fewer Variables:
   a, b = (1, 2, 3)
   print(a, b)


   1 2

Explanation: Here, only the first two values from the tuple are unpacked into a and b.

  1. Swapping Values:
   a = 1
   b = 2
   a, b = b, a
   print(a, b)


   2 1

Explanation: Tuple unpacking allows a convenient way to swap the values of two variables without using a temporary variable.

  1. Using * for Additional Values:
   a, b, *others = (1, 2, 3, 4)
   print(a, b)


   1 2
   [3, 4]

Explanation: The * syntax gathers the remaining values into a list, allowing flexibility when dealing with tuples of variable length.

Tuples are useful when you need an ordered, immutable collection of elements and want to take advantage of tuple-specific features like unpacking. They are often used in scenarios where the data should not be modified after creation or when you want to return multiple values from a function in a single, cohesive unit.

Zipping Tuples:
a = (1, 2, 3, 4)
b = (5, 6, 7, 8)

result = tuple(zip(a, b))

Explanation: The zip() function is used to combine elements from two or more iterables (here, tuples a and b). It returns an iterator of tuples where the i-th tuple contains the i-th element from each of the input iterables. The tuple() function is then used to convert the resulting iterator into a tuple.

In this specific example, the zip(a, b) operation creates an iterator with pairs of corresponding elements from a and b. The tuple() function converts this iterator into a tuple, resulting in ((1, 5), (2, 6), (3, 7), (4, 8)). Each tuple in the result contains elements at the same index from tuples a and b.

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