5 Best Ways to Split a Tuple into Groups of N in Python

πŸ’‘ Problem Formulation: Often while working with tuples in Python, developers face a scenario where a tuple needs to be divided into smaller tuples, each containing a specific number of elements (n). For instance, given a tuple like (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), the goal is to split it into groups of 2, resulting in ((1, 2), (3, 4), (5, 6)).

Method 1: Using a for loop and slicing

This method involves iterating over the length of the tuple, stepping by the group size n, and creating smaller tuples via slicing. The function defined can be adapted to any tuple size and group length.

Here’s an example:

def split_tuple(tuple_to_split, n):
    return tuple(tuple_to_split[i:i + n] for i in range(0, len(tuple_to_split), n))

example_tuple = (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
result = split_tuple(example_tuple, 2)


((1, 2), (3, 4), (5, 6))

The code defines a function split_tuple which takes a tuple and an integer n. It returns a new tuple, where each element is a tuple containing n values from the original tuple, using slicing to create each group.

Method 2: Using itertools.islice()

The itertools.islice() function is perfect for creating an iterator that returns selected elements from the input tuple. When paired with tuple comprehension, it creates a neat solution for splitting the tuple into uniform groups of n items.

Here’s an example:

from itertools import islice

def split_tuple_using_islice(tuple_to_split, n):
    iterators = [iter(tuple_to_split)] * n
    return tuple(tuple(islice(it, n)) for it in iterators)

example_tuple = (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)
result = split_tuple_using_islice(example_tuple, 2)


((7, 8), (9, 10), (11, 12))

This approach takes the tuple to split and group size n, then creates a list of iterators of the same original tuple repeated n times. Using the islice() method, it slices through the tuple creating the groups of n.

Method 3: Using List Comprehension

Although we start with a tuple, temporarily converting it to a list within a list comprehension is a quick way to implement the split. This leverages Python’s dynamic typing and the convenience of the list comprehension syntax.

Here’s an example:

def split_tuple_with_list(tuple_to_split, n):
    return tuple(tuple_to_split[i:i + n] for i in range(0, len(tuple_to_split), n))

example_tuple = ('a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f')
result = split_tuple_with_list(example_tuple, 3)


(('a', 'b', 'c'), ('d', 'e', 'f'))

This code snippet uses list comprehension to iterate through a range of indices, creating a new tuple from slices of the original tuple. These slices match the desired group size n.

Method 4: Using the zip function with ‘*’ operator

Python’s built-in zip function can be applied creatively with the unpacking operator to transpose the tuple’s structure, which effectively groups the elements into the desired tuple size when the input tuple length is a multiple of n.

Here’s an example:

def split_tuple_with_zip(tuple_to_split, n):
    return tuple(zip(*[iter(tuple_to_split)]*n))

example_tuple = (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60)
result = split_tuple_with_zip(example_tuple, 2)


((10, 20), (30, 40), (50, 60))

In this snippet, an iterator is created from the tuple which is then repeated n times. The zip function then groups the elements into tuples based on their positions in these identical iterators.

Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Using Generator Expression

A generator expression provides an elegant and efficient one-liner to split the tuple into groups of n. It’s especially useful when you only need to iterate over the groups once.

Here’s an example:

example_tuple = (0, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5)
result = tuple(example_tuple[i:i + 3] for i in range(0, len(example_tuple), 3))


((0, 9, 8), (7, 6, 5))

This efficient one-liner uses a generator expression to produce the same result as the methods above, returning a new tuple consisting of smaller tuples, each containing 3 elements from the original tuple.


  • Method 1: Using a for loop and slicing. Strength: Simple to understand. Weakness: Not the most Pythonic solution.
  • Method 2: Using itertools.islice(). Strength: Utilizes efficient iterator protocols. Weakness: Might be less readable for those unfamiliar with itertools.
  • Method 3: Using List Comprehension. Strength: Easy to comprehend, pythonic. Weakness: Involves implicit type conversion.
  • Method 4: Using the zip function with ‘*’ operator. Strength: Elegant and concise. Weakness: Works only when tuple length is a multiple of n.
  • Bonus Method 5: Using Generator Expression. Strength: Concise one-liner and memory-efficient. Weakness: Less intuitive for those unfamiliar with generator expressions.