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# Python List | copy method

schedule Aug 12, 2023
Last updated
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Python
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Python's `list.copy()` method returns a copy of a list.

No parameters.

# Return value

Returns a copy of the original list. Note that the original list is not modified.

# Examples

## Basic usage

To return a copy of the list `fruits`:

``` fruits = ['apple', 'pear', 'orange']fruits_copy = fruits.copy()print(fruits)print(fruits_copy) ['apple', 'pear', 'orange']['apple', 'pear', 'orange'] ```

## Copying using the = operator

It is also possible to copy a list using the `=` operator. However, with this method if you modify one of the lists the other is also automatically modified which can pose problems:

``` old_fruits = ['apple', 'pear', 'orange']new_fruits = old_fruits# Adding item grape to new_fruitsnew_fruits.append('grape')print("old_fruits =", old_fruits)print("new_fruits =", new_fruits) old_fruits = ['apple', 'pear', 'orange', 'grape']new_fruits = ['apple', 'pear', 'orange', 'grape'] ```

Note that `'grape'` is automatically added to `old_fruits` despite the fact we only added `'grape'` to `new_fruits`. Therefore, using the `=` operator to copy lists is not recommended.

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