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5 Ways To Convert List To String Python


In this article, you will learn 5 ways to convert list to string in Python.

We need to convert a list to a string while programming for many reasons. For example, we need to store the list in a file and then read the list from the file, or we need to display the list, etc.

convert string to list python

Quick Solution - Convert List To String Python

The easiest and quickest way to convert a list to a string is to use the join() method.

Call the join() method on a separator and pass the list as an argument. The method will join the elements of the list with the separator and return the string.

Here is an example to convert a list to a string.

# convert list to string python
items = ['Simple', 'Python', 'Code']

# join the list with space
str = ' '.join(items)
print(str)
print(type(str))

Output

Simple Python Code
<class 'str'>

Look at the code above, the separator is a space that's why elements of the list are joined together with a space in-between.


    Table Of Contents - Convert List To String Python

  1. Using join() method
  2. Python list to string using loop
  3. Using List comprehension
  4. Using map() method
  5. Using reduce() method

1. Using join() method

The join() method is a string method in Python that joins the elements of the given list with a separator into a string.

After creating the string it returns it.

Syntax:

string.join(sequence)

Here 'string' is the string that we want to join the elements of the list with. 'sequence' is the list that we want to join.

# join element together
items = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e']
str = ''.join(items)
print(str)

Output

abcde

In the above example separator is an empty string. So elements of the list are joined together with nothing in-between.

Here is another example that joins the elements of the list with different separators like space, comma, dash, etc.

items = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e']
str = ' '.join(items)
print(str)

str = ','.join(items)
print(str)

str = '-'.join(items)
print(str)

Output

a b c d e
a,b,c,d,e
a-b-c-d-e

2. Python list to string using loop

Another way to convert a list to a string is to use a loop. We will use for loop here.

To convert a list to a string, loop through the list items of the list and concatenate them with a separator or without a separator as you wish.

Here is an example to convert a list to a string using for loop.

# convert list to string using for loop
items = ['Simple', 'Python', 'Code']
# initialize an empty string
string = ""

# loop through the list
for item in items:
    string = string + item
print(string)

Output

SimplePythonCode

In the above example, we are not using a separator. So elements of the list are joined together without any separator.

To add a separator just as we did in the join() method add a separator string at the end of the element.

items = ['Simple', 'Python', 'Code']
# initialize an empty string
string = ""
sep = " "

# loop through the list
for item in items:
    string = string + item + sep
print(string)

# different separator
sep = ","
for item in items:
    string = string + item + sep
print(string)

Output

Simple Python Code
Simple,Python,Code

3. Using List comprehension

Another way to convert a list to a string is to use list comprehension.

List comprehension is used when you have a number as an element in the list. The join() method shows a TypeError error because we are trying to join a string with a number.

So first we need to convert the number to a string and then apply the join() method.

# applying join() on number
items = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
print(' '.join(items)) ❌# TypeError

TypeError: sequence item 0: expected str instance, int found

First, convert the number to a string using the str() method.

items = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

# using list comprehension
print(','.join([str(item) for item in items]))

Output

1,2,3,4,5

In the above example, list comprehension converts the numbers in a list to strings, and then the join() method joins the elements of the list to a string.

This can also be used when you have heterogeneous data like a list of strings and numbers mixed in the list.

items = ['a', 1, 2,'b', 3, 4, 'c', 5]

# conver hetrogeneous list to string
print(','.join([str(item) for item in items]))

Output

a,1,2,b,3,4,c,5

4. Using map() method

The map() method can be used in similar cases as above:

  1. If you have a list of numbers and you want to convert them to strings.
  2. If you have a heterogeneous list like a list of strings and numbers mixed in the list and you want to convert them to strings.

The map() function takes two arguments: a function and a list.

The function is applied to each element of the list and the result is returned as a list.

Here we will use str() as a function to convert the numbers in the list to strings.

items = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

# using map()
print(','.join(map(str, items)))

Output

1,2,3,4,5

Here is an example with hetrogeneous list.

items = ['a', 1, 2,'b', 3, 4, 'c', 5]

# convert hetrogeneous list to string
print(','.join(map(str, items)))

Output

a,1,2,b,3,4,c,5

5. Using reduce() method

The reduce() method is used to reduce a list to a single value.

To use the reduce() function you have to import the functools module.

The reduce() function takes two arguments: a function and a list.

The function is applied to each element of the list and the result is returned as a single value.

# import functools
from functools import reduce

items = ['Python', 'Is', 'Cool']
# using reduce()
print(reduce(lambda a, b: a + b, items))

Output

PythonIsCool

In the above example, the reduce() function accepts a lambda function as an argument that concatenates the elements of the list.

Note: Apply the reduce() function only when the list contains either only strings or only numbers. Otherwise, it will throw a TypeError.

Using separator to join the elements using reduce() function.

# import functools
from functools import reduce

items = ['Python', 'Is', 'Cool']
# using reduce()
# with separator
print(reduce(lambda a, b: a + ' ' + b, items))

Output

Python Is Cool

Conclusion

Summarising this article, we have learned how to convert a list to a string in Python using 5 different methods.

The join() method is most commonly used to convert a list to a string. You can control the separator using it.

The other 4 methods have their own importance in different situations.