Python Print Without Quotes

Problem Formulation

In Python’s interactive mode, each line is assumed to be an expression that is evaluated. The return value is provided to the user. Thus, if you evaluate a string expression or call a function or an operation that returns a string, the output will display quotes around the string to tell the user that this is a string result:

# Quotes
>>> 'hello world'
'hello world'

For example, if you’d simply evaluate a mathematical operation with an integer result, no quotes would be displayed:

>>> 40 + 2
42

How can you get rid of the quotes and print a Python string without the quotes?

Solution 1: print()

When in interactive mode, a string result is displayed with single quotes around it to indicated that the result is a string. But if you pass the resulting string in a print(...) function call as an argument, the quotes disappear.

# No Quotes
>>> print('hello world')
hello world

This is because the print() function automatically converts each argument to its string representation and prints it to the standard output. Because all print outputs are strings, it doesn’t provide value to indicate the string type with enclosing types. So, Python just skips them.

Feel free to watch the following video to dive deeper into the function:

Solution 2: string.strip()

If you want to remove the enclosing quotes from a string before printing it, you can call the string.strip() method and pass the single and double quotes characters to be stripped from the beginning and end of the string object on which it is called. For example, the expression '"hello world"'.strip('"\'') removes all enclosing single and double quotes and results in the simple string 'hello world'.

hi = '"hello world"'

print(hi)
# "hello world"

print(hi.strip('"\''))
# hello world

Note that the strip() method removes all characters in the provided string argument. As you need to enclose the string argument in double or single quotes itself, you need to escape the character you used to enclose the string argument. This removes the special meaning (=close the string) from the quote and tells Python to use the quote character.

Again, feel free to watch the following video to dive deeper into the function:

Solution 3: string.replace()

The brute-force approach to remove all quotes from a given string, not just the enclosing ones, is to use the string.replace() method and replace every occurrence of a quote with the empty string ''. For example, to first remove all double quotes and then all single quotes from string s, you can chain the function twice via s.replace('"', '').replace("'", '').

>>> s = 'hello """ world \'\'\' !!!'
>>> s
'hello """ world \'\'\' !!!'
>>> s.replace('"', '').replace("'", '')
'hello  world  !!!'

Watch the following video to dive deeper into the function:

Solution 4: re.sub()

The regex function re.sub(P, R, S) replaces all occurrences of the pattern P with the replacement R in string S. It returns a new string. For example, if you call re.sub('["\']', '', s), the result will be the new string with all single or double quotes removed from the string s.

>>> import re
>>> s = 'hello """ world \'\'\' !!!'
>>> re.sub('["\']', '', s)
'hello  world  !!!'

The regex pattern '["\']' opens a character class that you can see as an OR relation—it will either match the double quote character " or the single quote character ' (escaped to prevent a syntax error as the last single quote would open a new string that is never closed).

Yes, there’s another video for learning and improving your understanding of this vital function:

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