If you’re in a hurry, here’s the short answer:
Use the list comprehension statement
[list(x) for x in tuples] to convert each tuple in
tuples to a list. This also works for a list of tuples with a varying number of elements.
But there’s more to it, and studying the three main methods to achieve the same goal will make you a better coder. So keep reading! 👓
Method 1: List Comprehension + list()
Problem: How to convert a list of tuples into a list of lists?
Example: You’ve got a list of tuples
[(1, 2), (3, 4), (5, 6)] and you want to convert it into a list of lists
[[1, 2], [3, 4], [5, 6]].
tuples = [(1, 2), (3, 4), (5, 6)] lists = [list(x) for x in tuples] print(lists) # [[1, 2], [3, 4], [5, 6]]
Try It Yourself:
This approach is simple and effective. List comprehension defines how to convert each value (
x in the example) to a new list element.
You use the constructor
list(x) to create a new list from the tuple
If you have three list elements per tuple, you can use the same approach with the conversion:
tuples = [(1, 2, 1), (3, 4, 3), (5, 6, 5)] lists = [list(x) for x in tuples] print(lists)
You can see the execution flow in the following interactive visualization (just click the “Next” button to see what’s happening in the code):
And if you have a varying number of list elements per tuple, this approach still works beautifully:
tuples = [(1,), (3, 3), (5, 6, 5)] lists = [list(x) for x in tuples] print(lists) # [, [3, 3], [5, 6, 5]]
You see that an approach with list comprehension is the best way to convert a list of tuples to a list of lists. But are there any alternatives?
Method 2: Map Function + list()
💡 Side note: Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python, didn’t like the
map() function as it’s less readable (and less efficient) than the list comprehension version (method 1 in this tutorial). Feel free to read a detailed discussion on how exactly he argued in my blog article.
So, without further ado, here’s how you can convert a list of tuples into a list of lists using the
tuples = [(1,), (2, 3, 4), (5, 6, 7, 8)] lists = list(map(list, tuples)) print(lists) # [, [2, 3, 4], [5, 6, 7, 8]]
Try it yourself:
The first argument of the
map() function is the
list function name.
list() function converts each element on the given iterable
tuples (the second argument) into a list.
The result of the
map() function is an iterable, so you need to convert it to a list before printing it to the shell because the default string representation of an iterable is not human-readable.
- List of Lists
- How to Convert a List of Lists to a List of Tuples
- How to Convert a List of Lists to a Pandas Dataframe
- How to Convert a List of Lists to a NumPy Array
- How to Convert a List of Lists to a Dictionary in Python
Method 3: Use Asterisk and List Comprehension
A variant of the recommended way to convert a list of tuples to a list of lists is using list comprehension in combination with the unpacking asterisk operator
* like so:
[[*x] for x in tuples].
Here’s an example:
tuples = [(1,), (3, 3), (5, 6, 5)] lists = [[*x] for x in tuples] print(lists) # [, [3, 3], [5, 6, 5]]
The unpacking operator
[*x] takes all tuple elements from
x and “unpacks” them in the outer list container
[...]. For example, the expression
[*(5, 6, 5)] yields the list
[5, 6, 5].
Where to Go From Here?
Enough theory. Let’s get some practice!
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