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How to use append in Python

Introduction to Append Function in Python

In our daily lives, we constantly add items to our shopping list, or more books to our reading list. The action of adding an item to the end of an existing list is quite common. In Python, you can do the same thing with your lists of data. The tool that enables this is called the append() function.

Understanding the Append Function

In Python, the append() function is a tool, or in programming terminology, a method, that allows us to add a new item to an existing list. Imagine you have a bucket, and you're adding more items into it. Here, the bucket is your list, and the items are your data.

The append() function is like a mini conveyor belt that transports an item and places it at the end of the list.

How to Use Append in Python

Using append() in Python is straightforward. First, you need a list. Let's create a simple list:

fruits = ['apple', 'banana', 'cherry']

Now, suppose we want to add 'orange' to this list. We would use the append() function like this:


If you print the fruits list now, you will see the updated list:


The output will be:

['apple', 'banana', 'cherry', 'orange']

'Orange' has been added to the end of the list.

A Deep Dive into Append

Let's break down how append() works.

When you use append(), you start with the name of your list (in our case, fruits). After the name, you add a dot (.), followed by the word append(). Inside the parentheses of append(), you put the item you want to add to the list.


The function takes the item ('orange') and adds it to the end of the list. If you append another item, it will be added after 'orange'. You can keep adding as many items as you want this way.

Add Any Data Type with Append

The append() function doesn't limit you to adding just strings (text). You can append integers (whole numbers), floats (numbers with decimal points), or even other lists.

For example, to add a number to a list of numbers:

numbers = [1, 2, 3]

The output will be:

[1, 2, 3, 4]

To add another list to an existing list:

more_fruits = ['peach', 'plum']

The output will be:

['apple', 'banana', 'cherry', 'orange', ['peach', 'plum']]

Note that when you append a list to another list, the added list is considered a single item or element in the original list.


Mastering the append() function in Python opens up new doors in your programming journey. It allows you to dynamically modify your lists, adding new elements as your program runs. With append(), your Python lists become living, growing entities, adapting to the needs of your code.

Think of append() as a friendly helper that is always ready to extend your lists whenever you need. It's like a gardener, constantly planting new seeds at the end of your data garden. As you continue to nurture and grow your Python skills, remember to use tools like append() to help your data thrive. Happy coding!