What is a Python tuple?
A tuple is a built-in data type in python that is used to store multiple items under a single variable. Tuples are very similar to lists since they are ordered, and allow duplicate values however unlike lists they are immutable which means that they cannot be changed.
Creating a Python tuple
So, to create a tuple, we need a variable and we’re going to call it ‘t’ and we’re going to do equals and then now we need some values of which we are going to separate with a comma. Now, the first way that we can do this is just by typing in some values separated by a comma. So we’ll do 1, 2 and 3. Now, if I save this and hover over the variable the code editor tells us that this is a tuple. We can also check the type of the variable as shown below.
However, it’s worth noting that in most cases you will want to use brackets around the values to determine that it’s a tuple. So the best practice is to have parentheses enclosing those values contained in a tuple. As illustrated below.
Now, a tuple can have multiple values that are the same. But it could also have integers and strings put together. We can go ahead and change the value 2 the word ‘lion’.
We can also go ahead and write another tuple underneath. So we’ll call this one x is equal to and again with the brackets and we’ll just do 4, 6 and then ‘tiger’.
Now we have two tuples on the screen. If we want to print one of them out, we can just print(t) for instance.
We’ll see down here that we get that back.
Indexing and slicing Python tuples
We said at the beginning of the video that tuples are very similar to lists, which means we can actually slice and index them. We are going to use the square brackets to denote what we want to index. So we want a specific item from this tuple. So if we do t, this should give us the first item from the tuple of t. And we can see that we get one back and if we could change this to 1 or 2 as shown below.
Adding two Python tuples
We can actually add these two tuples together to create one large tuple. So if we do print(t + x), we’re going to get all the values together. In one tuple here.
Nesting Python tuples
We can nest tuples together as well. And to do so we need to just write the two tuples side by side separated by a comma and then wrap the whole thing in brackets. We can print the whole tuple and we can also index the tuples as shown here.
So why would you use a tuple and not a list? Well, generally speaking, if you want some data that isn’t changeable or doesn’t need to have its order changed, you could use a tuple. And when we talk about larger amounts of data, python actually executes tuples much quicker.
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