Advertisement
Advertisement


Difference between del, remove and pop on lists


Question

>>> a=[1,2,3]
>>> a.remove(2)
>>> a
[1, 3]
>>> a=[1,2,3]
>>> del a[1]
>>> a
[1, 3]
>>> a= [1,2,3]
>>> a.pop(1)
2
>>> a
[1, 3]
>>> 

Is there any difference between the above three methods to remove an element from a list?

2012/07/17
1
984
7/17/2012 10:27:57 AM

Accepted Answer

The effects of the three different methods to remove an element from a list:

remove removes the first matching value, not a specific index:

>>> a = [0, 2, 3, 2]
>>> a.remove(2)
>>> a
[0, 3, 2]

del removes the item at a specific index:

>>> a = [9, 8, 7, 6]
>>> del a[1]
>>> a
[9, 7, 6]

and pop removes the item at a specific index and returns it.

>>> a = [4, 3, 5]
>>> a.pop(1)
3
>>> a
[4, 5]

Their error modes are different too:

>>> a = [4, 5, 6]
>>> a.remove(7)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ValueError: list.remove(x): x not in list
>>> del a[7]
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
IndexError: list assignment index out of range
>>> a.pop(7)
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
IndexError: pop index out of range
2020/06/28
1408
6/28/2020 9:03:36 AM

Use del to remove an element by index, pop() to remove it by index if you need the returned value, and remove() to delete an element by value. The latter requires searching the list, and raises ValueError if no such value occurs in the list.

When deleting index i from a list of n elements, the computational complexities of these methods are

del     O(n - i)
pop     O(n - i)
remove  O(n)
2012/07/17

Since no-one else has mentioned it, note that del (unlike pop) allows the removal of a range of indexes because of list slicing:

>>> lst = [3, 2, 2, 1]
>>> del lst[1:]
>>> lst
[3]

This also allows avoidance of an IndexError if the index is not in the list:

>>> lst = [3, 2, 2, 1]
>>> del lst[10:]
>>> lst
[3, 2, 2, 1]
2017/02/27

Already answered quite well by others. This one from my end :)

remove vs pop vs del

Evidently, pop is the only one which returns the value, and remove is the only one which searches the object, while del limits itself to a simple deletion.

2020/06/20

Many best explanations are here but I will try my best to simplify more.

Among all these methods, reverse & pop are postfix while delete is prefix.

remove(): It used to remove first occurrence of element

remove(i) => first occurrence of i value

>>> a = [0, 2, 3, 2, 1, 4, 6, 5, 7]
>>> a.remove(2)   # where i = 2
>>> a
[0, 3, 2, 1, 4, 6, 5, 7]

pop(): It used to remove element if:

unspecified

pop() => from end of list

>>>a.pop()
>>>a
[0, 3, 2, 1, 4, 6, 5]

specified

pop(index) => of index

>>>a.pop(2)
>>>a
[0, 3, 1, 4, 6, 5]

WARNING: Dangerous Method Ahead

delete(): Its a prefix method.

Keep an eye on two different syntax for same method: [] and (). It possesses power to:

1.Delete index

del a[index] => used to delete index and its associated value just like pop.

>>>del a[1]
>>>a
[0, 1, 4, 6, 5]

2.Delete values in range [index 1:index N]

del a[0:3] => multiple values in range

>>>del a[0:3]
>>>a
[6, 5]

3.Last but not list, to delete whole list in one shot

del (a) => as said above.

>>>del (a)
>>>a

Hope this clarifies the confusion if any.

2020/06/20

pop - Takes Index and returns Value

remove - Takes value, removes first occurrence, and returns nothing

delete - Takes index, removes value at that index, and returns nothing

2018/04/10