Difference between list and tuple


List and tuple are a class of data structures in Python that can store one or more objects or values. A list is capable of storing numerous items in one variable and can be formed using square brackets. Likewise, tuples retain the power to store multiple items in a single variable and be declared using parentheses. Even though there are numerous differences between list and tuple, there are some similarities too. They both are sequence data types that store collections of items, and Items of any data type can be stored in them. If needed, the item can be accessed by their index.

Difference between list and tuple

The significant difference among lists and tuple

There exist some significant differences among the features and functions of lists and tuples. Some of them are as follows: 

Difference in syntax

The syntax for list and tuple will always be different. For example:

  • List number = [10, 20, 30, 40]
  • Tuple number = (10, 20, 30, 40)

Mutability differences

  • Another critical difference between list and tuple exists in mutability. The list is mutable, while a tuple is immutable. This means that it is possible to change the lists, and tuples cannot be changed. Consequently, operations can work on lists, but it is not the case with tuples. For example, if a list already exists, then it is possible to reassign its particular elements. Along with this, the whole list can be reallocated. In addition, Elements and slices of elements can also be deleted from the list.
  • In contrast, particular elements on the tuple cannot be reallocated or removed, but it is possible to slice it and even reallocate and erase the whole tuple. As tuples are immutable, so it is not possible to copy them. 

Difference in Operations

Even though many operations look-alike like both lists and tuples, but at the same time, lists have some additional functionalities that are not available with tuples. These extra functionalities are inserted and pop operations and the sorting and removing elements in the list.


There are some python functions such as len, max, min, any, a sum that can be applied to both data structures. 

Size differences: Difference between list and tuple

In Python, tuples are allocated large blocks of memory with subordinate overhead, as they are immutable; however, for lists, small memory blocks are allocated. Tuples have smaller memory, which makes them faster than the lists when there are many elements.

Type of elements: Difference between list and tuple

Heterogeneous elements are ordinarily stored in tuples. At the same time, homogeneous elements are usually stored in lists. But this is not a limit for the data structures. It is possible that Similar data type elements can be stored in tuples, and different data type elements can be stored in lists.

Differences in Length: Difference between list and tuple

There is a difference in Lengths among these two data structures. Tuples always possess fixed lengths, whereas lists have variable lengths. Therefore, the size of produced lists can alter, but that is not the case for tuples.


It is essential to understand that there are diverse cases where it is good to use one of these data structures, such as; using either one hinge on the programmer’s wishes or requirements, i.e., picking one based on whether they want to alter the data later or not. Tuples can use as a correspondent of a dictionary without keys to store data. Whenever tuples store within lists, it becomes easier to read data.

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