Generator expression

From CS 61A Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

In Python, a generator expression is a concise way to create an generator out of an iterable. A generator expression traverses an iterable, keeps certain values, evaluates an expression, and collects the values in a generator object. Putting list brackets around the generator expression converts the generator object to a list comprehension.


The syntax of a generator expression is: (expression for elem in iterable if condition). The conditional is optional, and in some cases the parentheses are optional.

A generator expression executes as follows:

  • traversal: for elem in iterable causes elem to successively take on the value of each item in the iterable.
  • filter: for each elem, if condition passes, we go on to the expression.
  • expression: expression is the value that is stored in the iterable

The generator object returned by the expression above is equivalent to gen in the following code:

def gen():
    for elem in iterable:
        if condition:
            yield expression
gen = gen()


Example with all the components:

>>> result = (x * x for x in range(10) if x % 2 == 0)
>>> result
<generator object <genexpr> at 0x...>
>>> list(result) # convert generator object to list
[0, 4, 16, 36, 64]

Example without the conditional:

>>> [x * x for x in range(10)]
[0, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81]

Example with a list:

>>> broken_sentence = ["oppa", "gangnam", "style"]
>>> [word + "op" for word in broken_sentence]
['oppaop', 'gangnamop', 'styleop']