In Python, there are many ways to store and organize data. So far, we have experienced adding elements to a list, writing key-value pairs to a dictionary, or even accessing data within tuples.

Any object which stores data is called a container. If you have written code in Python, you have likely been using containers this whole time!

We are familiar with Python’s built-in containers (such as lists or dictionaries), but there are many other containers that exist in Python. These containers each specialize in a specific job and can be imported into your code from other modules or even be custom-made! In this lesson, we will be looking at these specialized containers from the Python collections module.

We will start to dive deeper in the next exercises, but for now, let’s take some time to review some of the common built-in containers we are most familiar with:


Lists are an ordered group of elements. Elements can be added, removed, accessed, and modified.

products = ['t-shirt', 'pants', 'shoes', 'dress', 'blouse'] products.append('jacket') products.sort() products.remove('shoes')


Tuples are immutable objects which group multiple elements together. They are similar to lists, except that they cannot be modified once created.

searched_terms = ('clothes', 'phone', 'app', 'purchase', 'clothes', 'store', 'app', 'clothes') term = searched_terms[2] num_of_occurrences = searched_terms.count('clothes')


Dictionaries are unordered groups of key-value pairs.

orders = {'order_4829': {'type': 't-shirt', 'size': 'large', 'price': 9.99}, 'order_6184': {'type': 'pants', 'size': 'medium', 'price': 14.99} } order_4829_price = orders['order_4829']['price'] order_6184_size = orders['order_4829']['size'] orders['order_4829']['size'] = 'x-large' num_of_orders = len(orders)


Sets are unordered groups of elements that cannot contain duplicates, elements cannot be modified.

old_products_set = {'t-shirt', 'pants', 'shoes'} new_products_set = {'t-shirt', 'pants', 'blouse', 'dress'} updated_products = new_products_set | old_products_set removed_products = old_products_set - new_products_set

You can learn more about these built-in containers in earlier lessons or in the Python Documentation.

Now that we have reviewed the most common containers in Python, let’s practice using them, and then move on to exploring the specialized containers we mentioned earlier!



We’ve decided to make an application in Python to help our friend’s clothing company. To begin, let’s use some of Python’s built-in containers to set up our company info!

First, create a variable called company_name which contains a string representing our clothing company’s name. Come up with something creative!


Next, create a tuple called company_location which contains two decimal values for latitude and longitude. Feel free to use any coordinates.


Create a list of strings called company_products representing which products we will be selling in our store. Make sure there are at least 5 products.


Finally, create a dictionary that will store all of the previous values we created into a variable called company_data.

Use the keys name, location, and products with the values being the respective variables we created in the last steps.

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