5 Effective Methods to Filter Tuples of Strings by Suffix in Python

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πŸ’‘ Problem Formulation:

It’s a common need to sift through a tuple of strings in Python and filter them based on a specific ending or suffix. For instance, if you have a tuple like ('username.txt', 'profile.jpg', 'config.py', 'readme.md'), and you want only the strings that end with '.py', then you’re aiming for a result like ('config.py',). This article tackles this precise issue, discussing different methods to achieve this result efficiently.

Method 1: Using a List Comprehension

Python’s list comprehensions are a concise way to create lists based on existing lists or tuples. When filtering a tuple of strings by their endswith, you can use the endswith() method within a list comprehension to express this logic succinctly.

Here’s an example:

input_tuple = ('username.txt', 'profile.jpg', 'config.py', 'readme.md')
filtered_list = [string for string in input_tuple if string.endswith('.py')]

Output: ['config.py']

This code snippet evaluates each string in the tuple to check if it ends with the substring '.py'. If it does, the string is included in the new list. This method is straightforward and pythonic but note that the result is a list, not a tuple.

Method 2: Using filter() and lambda

The filter() function allows you to process each element in a sequence and filter them based on a function’s return value. In conjunction with a lambda function, filter() can select tuple elements that end with a desired suffix.

Here’s an example:

input_tuple = ('username.txt', 'profile.jpg', 'config.py', 'readme.md')
filtered_tuple = tuple(filter(lambda x: x.endswith('.py'), input_tuple))

Output: ('config.py',)

Here, filter() applies a lambda function to each element in the tuple. The lambda function uses endswith('.py') to check each string. The result is a filtered iterator, which we convert back into a tuple.

Method 3: Using a Generator Expression

A generator expression is similar to a list comprehension, but it’s more memory efficient as it produces items one by one, only when requested. We can use it to filter strings in a tuple without creating an intermediate list.

Here’s an example:

input_tuple = ('username.txt', 'profile.jpg', 'config.py', 'readme.md')
filtered_tuple = tuple(string for string in input_tuple if string.endswith('.py'))

Output: ('config.py',)

This code directly constructs a tuple from the generator expression. It checks whether each string ends with '.py', similarly to a list comprehension, but does so while generating the tuple rather than making a list first.

Method 4: Using Regular Expressions

Regular expressions are a powerful tool for string matching and can be used to filter a tuple of strings. The module re can be used to match strings that end with a certain pattern.

Here’s an example:

import re

input_tuple = ('username.txt', 'profile.jpg', 'config.py', 'readme.md')
pattern = re.compile('.*\.py$')
filtered_tuple = tuple(filter(pattern.match, input_tuple))

Output: ('config.py',)

This snippet compiles a regular expression that matches any string that ends with '.py'. It then filters the tuple using the match() method from the compiled pattern. The filtering is done with the filter() function.

Bonus One-Liner Method 5: Using functools.partial

The functools.partial function allows you to create a new partial function with fixed values for certain arguments. This can be used with filter() to create a clean one-liner.

Here’s an example:

from functools import partial

input_tuple = ('username.txt', 'profile.jpg', 'config.py', 'readme.md')
filtered_tuple = tuple(filter(partial(str.endswith, '.py'), input_tuple))

Output: ('config.py',)

This one-liner creates a new function that fixes '.py' as the suffix for the str.endswith method and applies this new function with filter() to obtain the filtered tuple.


  • Method 1: List Comprehension. Easy to read and write. Results in a list which may require additional steps to convert back to a tuple.
  • Method 2: filter() and lambda. Functionally elegant, and immediately returns a tuple, but lambda functions can be less readable to those unfamiliar with the syntax.
  • Method 3: Generator Expression. Efficient memory usage, and like list comprehension, it’s easy to understand but may be slower for larger datasets due to tuple’s immutability.
  • Method 4: Regular Expressions. Highly customizable and powerful for complex patterns, but can be overkill for simple suffix checking and is slower than other methods.
  • Bonus Method 5: functools.partial. Provides a compact one-liner solution, but it’s more abstract and may be harder for beginners to grasp.