# Python Tutorial - Data Type-Set

- Create Python Sets
- Python Set Update
- Remove Elements From a Python Set
- Python Set Operations
- Python Set Methods
- Other Python Set Operations
- Python Set Built-In Functions
- Python Frozenset

In this section, you will learn how to create sets in Python and how to add and remove elements from sets.

Set contains **unique** items and is an **unordered** list of elements.

`set`

is a mutable object so that you can add and delete items from a set.## Create Python Sets

A set in Python can be created using curly braces `{}`

and the items are separated by commas. You can also create a set using the built-in method `set()`

.

The elements of a set can be of different data types. The elements of a set should be immutable. For example, you can have a tuple as an element of the set but you cannot have a set or dictionary or list as elements of the set.

```
>>> x = {3, 5, 7, 2, 4, 5}
>>> print(x) #prints the set variable
{2, 3, 4, 5, 7}
>>> print(type(x)) #checking type of x
<class 'set'>
```

You could use the `set()`

method with empty parameters to create an empty list. If you write `{}`

to create an empty object, it is interpreted as a dictionary:

```
>>> x = {}
>>> print(type(x))
<class 'dict'>
>>> x = set()
>>> print(type(x))
<class 'set'>
```

## Python Set Update

Indexing and slicing cannot be used to change elements of a set because `set`

is not a ordered data type.

A single element can be added in a set using the `add()`

method. If you want to add more than one element in the set then you have to use the `update()`

method.

```
>>> s = {2, 4}
>>> print(s)
{2, 4}
>>> s.add(6)
>>> print(s)
{2, 4, 6}
>>> s.update([2, 4, 6])
>>> print(s)
{2, 4, 6}
>>> s.update([5,6], {7, 8, 9})
>>> print(s)
{2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}
```

## Remove Elements From a Python Set

To remove an element from a set you can either use `discard()`

method or `remove()`

method.

The difference between these methods is that `discard()`

method will not prompt anything if the element to be deleted is not in the set whereas, `remove()`

will generate an error if the element to be deleted is not found.

```
>>> s = {2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}
>>> print(s)
{2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}
>>> s.discard(6)
>>> print(s)
{2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9}
>>> s.remove(8)
>>> print(s)
{2, 4, 5, 7, 9}
>>> s.discard(6) #no error
>>> s.remove(8) #generated an error
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<pyshell#18>", line 1, in <module>
s.remove(8)
KeyError: 8
```

You can also use `pop()`

to remove an item from a set. `pop()`

removes and returns one **arbitrary** set element.

```
>>> s = set("Python")
>>> s
{'o', 'n', 'h', 'P', 'y', 't'}
>>> s.pop()
o
>>> s.pop()
n
>>> s
{'h', 'P', 'y', 't'}
>>> s.clear()
>>> print(s)
set()
```

You could use set `clear()`

method to clear all the set elements.

```
>>> s = set("Python")
>>> s.clear()
>>> s
set()
```

## Python Set Operations

You can perform operations such as `union`

, `intersection`

, `difference`

, and `symmetric_difference`

.

Suppose you have two sets `x`

and `y`

:

```
>>> x = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}
>>> y = {7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12}
```

### Union

The Union of two sets results in a new set containing all elements of both the sets.

To perform union operation, you can use either `|`

operator or the `union()`

method.

```
>>> print(x | y)
{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12}
#using union() method on x
>>> x.union(y)
{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12}
#union on y
>>> y.union(x)
{1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12}
```

### Python Set Intersection

The Intersection of two sets results in a new set containing the items that are common in both of the sets.

To perform intersection operation, you can use either `&`

operator or the `intersection()`

method.

```
>>> x = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}
>>> y = {7, 8, 9, 2, 6, 1}
>>> print(x & y)
{1, 2, 6}
#using intersection() method on x
>>> x.intersection(y)
{1, 2, 6}
#intersection on y
>>> y.intersection(x)
{1, 2, 6}
```

### Python Sets Difference

The difference of two sets results in a new set that contains elements of the first set that are not present in the second set.

For example, `x - y`

is elements of `x`

not in `y`

. Similarly, `y - x`

is elements of `y`

not in `x`

.

To perform difference, you can use either `-`

operator or the `difference()`

method.

```
>>> x = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}
>>> y = {7, 8, 9, 2, 6, 1}
>>> print(x - y)
{3, 4, 5}
#using difference() method on x
>>> x.difference(y)
{3, 4, 5}
#diference on y
>>> y.difference(x)
{8, 9, 7}
```

### Python Sets Symmetric Difference

The symmetric difference of two sets results in a new set that contains elements that are not common in both sets.

To perform symmetric difference, you can use either `^`

operator or the `symmetric_difference()`

method.

```
>>> x = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}
>>> y = {7, 8, 9, 2, 6, 1}
>>> print(x ^ y)
{3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9}
#using symmetric_difference() method on x
>>> x.symmetric_difference(y)
{3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9}
#symmetric_diference on y
>>> y.symmetric_difference(x)
{3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9}
```

## Python Set Methods

The following is the list of methods that can be applied on sets in Python:

Method | Description |
---|---|

`add()` |
add an element to a set |

`clear()` |
clear the elements of the set (clears entire set) |

`copy()` |
return the copy of a set |

`difference()` |
return a new set that contains elements of the first set that are not present in the second set. |

`difference_update()` |
remove all elements of another set from the current set |

`discard()` |
remove a specific element from a set |

`intersection()` |
return a new set containing the items that are common in both of the sets. |

`intersection_update()` |
update a set with the intersection of this set with another set |

`isdisjoint()` |
return a `True` when two sets results in a null intersection |

`issubset()` |
return a `True` when another set has the current set |

`issuperset()` |
return a `True` when the current set has another set |

`pop()` |
return an element from a set |

`remove()` |
remove a specific element from a set. If the element is not in the set an error will be generated. |

`symmetric_difference()` |
return a new set that contains elements that are not common in both sets. |

`symmetric_difference_update()` |
update a set with the symmetric difference of this set with another set |

`union()` |
return a new set containing all elements of both the sets. |

`update()` |
update a set with the union of this set with another set |

## Other Python Set Operations

### Set Membership Check

The `in`

keyword tests if an item is a member of the set or not.

```
>>> s = set("Blue")
>>> print('o' in s)
False
>>> print('l' in s)
True
```

### Iterate Through a Set

You can iterate through a set by using `for`

loop:

```
for i in set("Blue"):
print(i)
```

**Result:**

```
B
l
u
e
```

## Python Set Built-In Functions

The following are some of the built-in functions that can be used with sets to perform different tasks:

Functions | Description |
---|---|

`all()` |
return `True` when all the elements of the set are `True` . It also returns `True` when the set is empty. |

`any()` |
return `True` when any of the element of the set is `True` . It returns `False` when the set is empty. |

`enumerate()` |
return the index and the value of all the elements of the set as a tuple. It returns an `enumerate` object. |

`len()` |
return the number of items in a set or the length of the set. |

`set()` |
define a set. |

`max()` |
return the maximum item in the set. |

`min()` |
return the minimum item in the set. |

`sorted()` |
return a sorted list of elements of a set. |

`sum()` |
return the sum of all elements of the set. |

## Python Frozenset

Frozenset is a special set whose elements cannot be updated when assigned once. Frozensets are immutable sets.

As sets are mutable so you cannot use them as a key for in dictionary but frozen sets are immutable, hence, you can use frozen sets as dictionary keys.

A frozenset can be created using the `frozenset()`

method.

The following are some of the methods supported by frozenset:

`copy()`

`difference()`

`intersection()`

`isdisjoint()`

`issubset()`

`issuperset()`

`symmetric_difference()`

`union()`

```
>>> x = frozenset([2,6,3,9])
>>> y = frozenset([6,1,2,4])
>>> x.difference(y)
frozenset({9, 3})
```

**Jinku Hu**

Founder of DelftStack.com. Jinku has worked in the robotics and automotive industries for over 8 years. He sharpened his coding skills when he needed to do the automatic testing, data collection from remote servers and report creation from the endurance test. He is from an electrical/electronics engineering background but has expanded his interest to embedded electronics, embedded programming and front-/back-end programming.

LinkedIn Facebook