.split()

The .split() method returns a new list of substrings based on a given string.

Syntax

string.split(delimiter, number_of_items)

The .split() method takes the following optional parameters:

  • A delimiter that is a either a regular expression or a string that is composed of one or more characters.
  • A maximum number_of_items for the returned list.

If no parameters are passed to the .split() method, a list is returned with the string as the sole element.

Note: An empty string ("") cannot be used as a delimiter to return a list of single characters from a given string. Using the built-in list() method can achieve this.

Examples

If the parameters of .split() are left blank, the delimiter will default to whitespace and the maximum number of items to split will be infinite.

my_string = "I like waffles from Belgium"
my_list = my_string.split()
print(my_list)
# Output: ['I', 'like', 'waffles', 'from', 'Belgium']

The next example shows the following:

  • It is possible to use escape characters (tab \t, newline \n, etc.) as delimiters (in list_a).
  • The number_of_items can control the size of the returned list_b.
multiline_string = """
Beets
Bears
Battlestar Galactica
"""
menu = "Breakfast|Eggs|Tomatoes|Beans|Waffles"
list_a = multiline_string.split("\n")
list_b = menu.split("|", 3)
print(f"Using escape characters: {list_a}")
print(f"Limited number of list items: {list_b}")

The following output is shown below:

Using escape characters: ['', 'Beets', 'Bears', 'Battlestar Galactica', '']
Limited number of list items: ['Breakfast', 'Eggs', 'Tomatoes', 'Beans|Waffles']

Codebyte Example

The following example showcases a regular expression (r"ea") being applied as a delimiter for the .split() method:

Code
Output
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