Python Language String Methods Split a string based on a delimiter into a list of strings


str.split(sep=None, maxsplit=-1)

str.split takes a string and returns a list of substrings of the original string. The behavior differs depending on whether the sep argument is provided or omitted.

If sep isn't provided, or is None, then the splitting takes place wherever there is whitespace. However, leading and trailing whitespace is ignored, and multiple consecutive whitespace characters are treated the same as a single whitespace character:

>>> "This is a sentence.".split()
['This', 'is', 'a', 'sentence.']

>>> " This is    a sentence.  ".split()
['This', 'is', 'a', 'sentence.']

>>> "            ".split()

The sep parameter can be used to define a delimiter string. The original string is split where the delimiter string occurs, and the delimiter itself is discarded. Multiple consecutive delimiters are not treated the same as a single occurrence, but rather cause empty strings to be created.

>>> "This is a sentence.".split(' ')
['This', 'is', 'a', 'sentence.']

>>> "Earth,Stars,Sun,Moon".split(',')
['Earth', 'Stars', 'Sun', 'Moon']

>>> " This is    a sentence.  ".split(' ')
['', 'This', 'is', '', '', '', 'a', 'sentence.', '', '']

>>> "This is a sentence.".split('e')
['This is a s', 'nt', 'nc', '.']

>>> "This is a sentence.".split('en')
['This is a s', 't', 'ce.']

The default is to split on every occurrence of the delimiter, however the maxsplit parameter limits the number of splittings that occur. The default value of -1 means no limit:

>>> "This is a sentence.".split('e', maxsplit=0)
['This is a sentence.']

>>> "This is a sentence.".split('e', maxsplit=1)
['This is a s', 'ntence.']

>>> "This is a sentence.".split('e', maxsplit=2)
['This is a s', 'nt', 'nce.']

>>> "This is a sentence.".split('e', maxsplit=-1)
['This is a s', 'nt', 'nc', '.']

str.rsplit(sep=None, maxsplit=-1)

str.rsplit ("right split") differs from str.split ("left split") when maxsplit is specified. The splitting starts at the end of the string rather than at the beginning:

>>> "This is a sentence.".rsplit('e', maxsplit=1)
['This is a sentenc', '.']

>>> "This is a sentence.".rsplit('e', maxsplit=2)
['This is a sent', 'nc', '.']

Note: Python specifies the maximum number of splits performed, while most other programming languages specify the maximum number of substrings created. This may create confusion when porting or comparing code.