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How to create a tuple with one item in Python

Onyejiaku Theophilus Chidalu

Overview

A tuple in Python is a collection of ordered and unchangeable items of the same data types stored in a single variable.

We can write tuples with round brackets ()

Creating a tuple

Let’s see how to create a tuple in the code below:

# creating a tuple
mytuple = ("apple", "banana", "cherry")

print("Tuple # 1: ", mytuple)
print(type(mytuple), '\n')

tuple2 = (511, "ID", 1.23, 'M')
print("Tuple # 2: ", tuple2)
Creating a tuple

Note: The tuple mytuple in the code above contains three items and tuple2 contains four items of different types.

Creating tuple with a single item

As we can see from the previous code, mytuple contains three elements. Let’s rewrite the code and create the tuple with just a single element:

# creating a tuple
mytuple = ("apple")

print(mytuple)
print(type(mytuple))
Creating a tuple with a single item value in a wrong way

Explanation

The code above returns a string data type (<class 'str'>), not a tuple. We check the data type of the mytuple using the type() function.

The reason why our code does not return a tuple is that Python does not recognize the code mytuple = ("apple") as a tuple but rather as an str.

Solution

To create a tuple with only one item, we need to add a comma(,) after writing the item. Otherwise, Python will not recognize it as a tuple as seen in the previous code. Now let’s apply this logic:

# creating a tuple single item by adding a comma after the item
mytuple = ("apple",)

print(mytuple)
print(type(mytuple))
Creating a tuple with a single item in the right way

We can see from the output of the code (<class 'tuple'>) that we are able to create a tuple with a single item by adding a comma(,) right after the item.

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Onyejiaku Theophilus Chidalu
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