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Is there a simple way to delete a list element by value?


Question

I want to remove a value from a list if it exists in the list (which it may not).

a = [1, 2, 3, 4]
b = a.index(6)

del a[b]
print(a)

The above case (in which it does not exist) shows the following error:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "D:\zjm_code\a.py", line 6, in <module>
    b = a.index(6)
ValueError: list.index(x): x not in list

So I have to do this:

a = [1, 2, 3, 4]

try:
    b = a.index(6)
    del a[b]
except:
    pass

print(a)

But is there not a simpler way to do this?

2020/07/29
1
962
7/29/2020 9:25:10 PM

Accepted Answer

To remove an element's first occurrence in a list, simply use list.remove:

>>> a = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd']
>>> a.remove('b')
>>> print(a)
['a', 'c', 'd']

Mind that it does not remove all occurrences of your element. Use a list comprehension for that.

>>> a = [10, 20, 30, 40, 20, 30, 40, 20, 70, 20]
>>> a = [x for x in a if x != 20]
>>> print(a)
[10, 30, 40, 30, 40, 70]
2020/03/23
1585
3/23/2020 12:07:05 PM

Usually Python will throw an Exception if you tell it to do something it can't so you'll have to do either:

if c in a:
    a.remove(c)

or:

try:
    a.remove(c)
except ValueError:
    pass

An Exception isn't necessarily a bad thing as long as it's one you're expecting and handle properly.

2010/05/08

You can do

a=[1,2,3,4]
if 6 in a:
    a.remove(6)

but above need to search 6 in list a 2 times, so try except would be faster

try:
    a.remove(6)
except:
    pass
2010/05/08

Consider:

a = [1,2,2,3,4,5]

To take out all occurrences, you could use the filter function in python. For example, it would look like:

a = list(filter(lambda x: x!= 2, a))

So, it would keep all elements of a != 2.

To just take out one of the items use

a.remove(2)
2020/02/14

Here's how to do it inplace (without list comprehension):

def remove_all(seq, value):
    pos = 0
    for item in seq:
        if item != value:
           seq[pos] = item
           pos += 1
    del seq[pos:]
2010/05/08

If you know what value to delete, here's a simple way (as simple as I can think of, anyway):

a = [0, 1, 1, 0, 1, 2, 1, 3, 1, 4]
while a.count(1) > 0:
    a.remove(1)

You'll get [0, 0, 2, 3, 4]

2013/03/28

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/2793324
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