How To Compare Two Lists In Python

Comparing two lists in Python is a common operation that you may encounter when working with data. Whether you want to find the difference between two lists or check if they have any common elements, Python provides several ways to compare lists easily.

In this tutorial, we will explore different techniques in comparing two lists in Python to help you find the method that fits your needs for your specific task.

Step 1: Using the == Operator

The easiest way to check if two lists are identical is by using the ‘==’ operator. This operator compares the two lists element by element and returns True if both lists contain the same elements in the same order; otherwise, it returns False.



Step 2: Using the set() Function

If you need to find the common elements of two lists, you can use the set() function to convert both lists into sets and then apply the intersection method.


{3, 4}

Step 3: Using List Comprehension

List comprehension is another way to find the common elements between two lists. It is a concise way to create a new list by applying an expression to each item in an existing list or other iterable objects. Here’s how you can use list comprehension to compare two lists:


[3, 4]

Step 4: Using the zip() Function

When you want to compare two lists element by element, the zip() function is helpful. The zip() function takes two lists as arguments and returns an iterator of tuples, where the first item in each list is paired together, and the second item in each list is also paired together, etc. You can then use a for loop to iterate through and compare the elements.


Equal: 1 1
Equal: 2 2
Not Equal: 3 4
Not Equal: 4 3

Step 5: Using the all() and any() Functions

The all() and any() functions can also be helpful when comparing lists. The all() function returns True if all the elements in the given iterable (e.g., list) are True; otherwise, it returns False. The any() function returns True if at least one element in the given iterable is True; otherwise, it returns False.

Here’s an example of how to use the all() and any() functions to compare two lists:


All elements equal: False
At least one element equal: True

Full Code


By following these steps, you can compare two lists in Python using various methods such as the ‘==’ operator, set() function, list comprehension, zip() function, and all() and any() functions. Depending on your specific task and needs, you can choose the most suitable method to efficiently compare lists in Python.