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Now that we know about lists, let's look at their sibling: the so-called tuples.

Tuples, just like lists, can contain n elements. A Tuple with two elements is a pair; with three elements it's a 3-tuple and with four elements it's a 4-tuple, etc.

There are tuples with one element and with null elements (empty tuple), but we will not deal with them at the beginning.

Tuples are created as lists, they do not have square brackets around them. Just the commas between the elements are enough.

They behave almost like lists, but they cannot change. They don't have methods like append and pop, and cannot be assigned to elements. But they can be used in for loops and they can read individual elements.

people = 'mom', 'aunt', 'grandmother'
for person in people:
print('First is {}'.format(people[0]))

Does this look familiar? We have already used tuples in for greeting in 'Ahoj', 'Hello', 'Hola', 'Hei', 'SYN'

If you want to pass a tuple to a function, there will be a problem that a comma separates the individual arguments. In similar cases, you have to encapsulate the tuple into brackets to make it clear that it is one value.

list_of_pairs = []
for i in range(10):
    #`append` takes only one argument; we'll give it one pair
    list_of_pairs.append ((i, i ** 2))

Tuples are useful if you want to return more than one value from the function. You simply declare the return values with a comma between them. It looks like you're returning a few values, but in fact, only one tuple is returned.

def floor_and_remainder(a, b):
    return a//b, a%b

Such a floor_and_remainder function already exists in Python: it's called divmod and it's always available (you don't have to import it).

Python can do another trick: if you want to assign values into several variables at once, you can just separate the variables (the left side) by a comma, and the right side can be some "compound" value - for example a tuple.

floor_number, remainder = floor_and_remainder(12, 5)

A tuple is the best for this purpose, but it works with all the values ​​that can be used with a for loop:

x, o = 'xo'
one, two, three = [1, 2, 3]

Functions returning tuples

zip is an interesting function. It is used in for loops, just like the range function that returns numbers.

When zip gets two lists (or other values that can be used in a for loop), it returns pairs -- the first element of the first list is paired with the first element of the second list, then the second element with the second, the third element with the third and so on.

It is useful when you have two lists with the same structure - the relevant elements "belong" together and you want to process them together:

people = 'mom', 'aunt', 'grandmother', 'assassin'
properties = 'good', 'nice', 'kind', 'insidious'
for person, property in zip(people, properties):
    print ('{} is {}'.format(person, property))

When zip gets three lists it will return triplets, and so on.

The other function that returns pairs is enumerate. As an argument, it takes a list (or other values that can be used in a for loop) and it pairs up the element's index (its order in the list) with the respective element. So the first element will be (0, first element of the given list), then (1, second element), (2, third element) and so on.

prime_numbers = [2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29]

for i, prime_number in enumerate(prime_numbers):
    print('Prime number on position {} is {}'.format(i, prime_number))

Small tuples

How to create a tuple with no or one element? Like this:

empty_tuple = ()
one_elem_tuple = ('a',)

The second example works also without brackets - one_el_tuple = 'a', but it looks like a forgotten comma. When you really need a single-element tuple, you should better encapsulate it for clarity.

When to use the list and when the tuple?

Lists are used when you do not know in advance how many values you will have, or when there are a lot of values. For example, a list of words in a sentence, a list of contest participants, a list of moves in a game, or a list of cards in a deck. In contrast, in for greeting in 'Ahoj', 'Hello', 'Hola', 'Hei', 'SYN' we are using a tuple.

Tuples are often used for values of different types where each "position" inside the tuple has a different meaning. For example, you can use a list for the letters of the alphabet, but for pairs of index-value from enumerate, you'd use a tuple.

The empty tuple and one-element tuple are a little strange, but they exist: For example, the list of playing cards in your hand, or the list of people currently enrolled in the competition may occasionally be empty.

Lists and tuples also have technical limits: Tuples cannot be changed, and when we will learn how to work with dictionaries, we will find that lists cannot be used as dictionary keys.

Often, it is not entirely obvious which type to use -- in that case, it probably doesn't really matter. Follow your instinct. :)

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