How to Remove the Last X Elements from a List in Python

Updated onbyAlan Morel
How to Remove the Last X Elements from a List in Python

Lists are a fundamental part of Python programming, as they are used to store many different types of data in a single variable.

One of the most common uses of lists is to store a collection of items and then add or remove items from the list.

In this post, we'll learn how you can remove the last elements from a list in Python.

Removing the Last Elements from a List by Slicing

Let's start off with a basic list:

numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

We know that we can get the last element by using the bracket notation and passing in a -1:

numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
last_element = numbers[-1]

print(last_element)
5

You can even get the last two elements by passing in a -2:

numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

print(numbers[-2:])
[4, 5]

Using this syntax, we can define a new list that has the last elements removed from it, like so:

numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
remove_last_elements = numbers[:-2]

print(remove_last_elements)
[1, 2, 3]

In general, when you want to remove the last elements from a list, you can use this syntax:

numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
numbers = numbers[:-n or None]

print(numbers)

Simply replace n with the number of elements you want to remove or use a variable for n.

Removing the Last Elements from a List by Using the del Keyword

Another way you can remove elements from a list is by directly modifying the list.

You can use the del keyword to remove elements from a list.

numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

del numbers[-1]

print(numbers)
[1, 2, 3, 4]

Here is the general syntax for removing elements from a list:

numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

del numbers[-n:]

As like with before, you can use a variable for n or just directly replace n with the number of elements you want to remove.

Conclusion

In this post, we learned the two different ways to remove the last elements from a list.

You can either utilize slicing to remove the last elements from a list, or you can use the del keyword to directly modify the original list.

Hopefully, this has been helpful to you. Happy coding!

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