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Is there a way to substring a string? (8)

Is there a way to substring a string in Python, to get a new string from the 3rd character to the end of the string?

Maybe like myString[2:end]?

Yes, this actually works if you assign, or bind, the name,end, to constant singleton, None:

>>> end = None
>>> myString = '1234567890'
>>> myString[2:end]
'34567890'

Slice notation has 3 important arguments:

  • start
  • stop
  • step

Their defaults when not given are None - but we can pass them explicitly:

>>> stop = step = None
>>> start = 2
>>> myString[start:stop:step]
'34567890'

If leaving the second part means 'till the end', if you leave the first part, does it start from the start?

Yes, for example:

>>> start = None
>>> stop = 2
>>> myString[start:stop:step]
'12'

Note that we include start in the slice, but we only go up to, and not including, stop.

When step is None, by default the slice uses 1 for the step. If you step with a negative integer, Python is smart enough to go from the end to the beginning.

>>> myString[::-1]
'0987654321'

I explain slice notation in great detail in my answer to Explain slice notation Question.

Is there a way to substring a string in Python, to get a new string from the 3rd character to the end of the string?

Maybe like myString[2:end]?

If leaving the second part means 'till the end', if you leave the first part, does it start from the start?


A common way to achieve this is by String slicing. MyString[a:b] gives you a substring from index a to (b - 1)


Just for completeness as nobody else has mentioned it. The third parameter to an array slice is a step. So reversing a string is as simple as:

some_string[::-1]

Or selecting alternate characters would be:

"H-e-l-l-o- -W-o-r-l-d"[::2] # outputs "Hello World"

The ability to step forwards and backwards through the string maintains consistency with being able to array slice from the start or end.


Maybe I missed it, but I couldn't find a complete answer on this page to the original question(s) because variables are not further discussed here. So I had to go on searching.

Since I'm not yet allowed to comment, let me add my conclusion here. I'm sure I was not the only one interested in it when accessing this page:

 >>>myString = 'Hello World'
 >>>end = 5

 >>>myString[2:end]
 'llo'

If you leave the first part, you get

 >>>myString[:end]
 'Hello' 

And if you left the : in the middle as well you got the simplest substring, which would be the 5th character (count starting with 0, so it's the blank in this case):

 >>>myString[end]
 ' '

Substr() normally (i.e. PHP and Perl) works this way:

s = Substr(s, beginning, LENGTH)

So the parameters are beginning and LENGTH.

But Python's behaviour is different; it expects beginning and one after END (!). This is difficult to spot by beginners. So the correct replacement for Substr(s, beginning, LENGTH) is

s = s[ beginning : beginning + LENGTH]

That's pretty simple:

s = 'Hello, World!'
print(s[:]) # prints "Hello, World!"
print(s[:5]) # prints Hello
print(s[5:]) # prints , World!
print(s[3:7]) # prints "lo, "

You've got it right there except for "end". It's called slice notation. Your example should read:

new_sub_string = myString[2:]

If you leave out the second parameter it is implicitly the end of the string.


>>> x = "Hello World!"
>>> x[2:]
'llo World!'
>>> x[:2]
'He'
>>> x[:-2]
'Hello Worl'
>>> x[-2:]
'd!'
>>> x[2:-2]
'llo Worl'

Python calls this concept "slicing" and it works on more than just strings. Take a look here for a comprehensive introduction.







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