A Python tuple is an ordered, immutable, and heterogeneous collection of elements. Let’s break down what these terms mean:
- Ordered: A tuple maintains the order of elements, meaning the elements are stored in a specific sequence. You can access elements by their position (index) within the tuple.
- Immutable: Tuples cannot be modified once they are created. You cannot add, remove, or change elements within a tuple. This immutability makes tuples different from lists, which are mutable.
- Heterogeneous: Tuples can contain elements of different data types. For example, a tuple can hold integers, strings, floats, or even other tuples.
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You can create a tuple in Python by enclosing a comma-separated sequence of elements within parentheses. Here’s an example:
my_tuple = (1, 'apple', 3.14, ('nested', 'tuple'))
You can access elements in a tuple by their index, starting from 0:
first_element = my_tuple # Access the first element (1) second_element = my_tuple # Access the second element ('apple')
Tuples are often used when you want to group related data together, and the data should remain constant throughout the program’s execution. They are also used for functions that return multiple values, as you can return a tuple of values from a function.
Here’s an example of a function returning a tuple:
def get_name_and_age(): name = "Alice" age = 30 return name, age result = get_name_and_age() print(result) # Output: ('Alice', 30)
Tuples are often used in situations where immutability and order are important, such as dictionary keys, function arguments, or when you want to ensure that the data doesn’t change accidentally.
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