Append integer to beginning of list in Python

Append integer to beginning of list in Python

>>>array = [1,2,3,4,5,6]
[7, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]

How it works:

array.insert(index, value)

Insert an item at a given position. The first argument is the index of the element before which to insert, so array.insert(0, x) inserts at the front of the list, and array.insert(len(array), x) is equivalent to array.append(x).Negative values are treated as being relative to the end of the array.

>>> a = 5
>>> li = [1, 2, 3]
>>> [a] + li  # Dont use list as variable name.
[5, 1, 2, 3]

Append integer to beginning of list in Python

Note that if you are trying to do that operation often, especially in loops, a list is the wrong data structure.

Lists are not optimized for modifications at the front, and somelist.insert(0, something) is an O(n) operation.

somelist.pop(0) and del somelist[0] are also O(n) operations.

The correct data structure to use is a deque from the collections module. deques expose an interface that is similar to those of lists, but are optimized for modifications from both endpoints. They have an appendleft method for insertions at the front.


In [1]: lst = [0]*1000
In [2]: timeit -n1000 lst.insert(0, 1)
1000 loops, best of 3: 794 ns per loop
In [3]: from collections import deque
In [4]: deq = deque([0]*1000)
In [5]: timeit -n1000 deq.appendleft(1)
1000 loops, best of 3: 73 ns per loop

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