Is Set a Data Type in Python?


Angela Bailey

Is Set a Data Type in Python?

In Python, a set is an unordered collection of unique elements. It is a built-in data type that allows you to store multiple values in a single variable. Unlike lists or tuples, sets do not preserve the order of elements and do not allow duplicate values.

Creating a Set

To create a set in Python, you can use the set() function or enclose your elements within curly braces ({}). Let’s take a look at some examples:

        # Using set() function
        my_set = set([1, 2, 3, 4])

        # Using curly braces
        my_set = {1, 2, 3, 4}

Note: If you try to create a set with duplicate elements using curly braces, Python will automatically remove the duplicates and keep only unique values.

Accessing Elements in a Set

As mentioned earlier, sets are unordered collections. Therefore, you cannot access elements by their index like you would with lists or tuples.

However, you can iterate over the elements using a loop or check for membership using the in keyword. Here’s an example:

        my_set = {1, 2, 3}
        for element in my_set:
        # Output: 1
        #         2
        #         3
        print(1 in my_set)  # Output: True

Modifying a Set

Sets are mutable objects in Python. This means you can add or remove elements from a set after it is created. Here are a few commonly used methods to modify a set:

  • add(): Adds an element to the set.
  • remove(): Removes an element from the set. Raises an error if the element does not exist.
  • discard(): Removes an element from the set. Does not raise an error if the element does not exist.
  • clear(): Removes all elements from the set.
        my_set = {1, 2, 3}
        print(my_set)  # Output: {1, 2, 3, 4}
        print(my_set)  # Output: {1, 3, 4}
        print(my_set)  # Output: {1, 3, 4}
        print(my_set)  # Output: set()

Set Operations

Sets in Python support various operations such as union, intersection, difference, and symmetric difference. These operations can be performed using built-in methods or operators. Let’s explore these operations with examples:

  • Union (|): Returns a new set containing all unique elements from both sets.
  • Intersection (&): Returns a new set containing common elements between two sets.
  • Difference (-): Returns a new set containing elements present in the first set but not in the second set.
  • Symmetric Difference (^): Returns a new set containing elements that are in either of the sets, but not both.
        set1 = {1, 2, 3}
        set2 = {3, 4, 5}
        union_set = set1 | set2
        print(union_set)  # Output: {1, 2, 3, 4, 5}
        intersection_set = set1 & set2
        print(intersection_set)  # Output: {3}
        difference_set = set1 - set2
        print(difference_set)  # Output: {1, 2}
        symmetric_difference_set = set1 ^ set2
        print(symmetric_difference_set)  # Output: {1, 2, 4, 5}


Sets are a powerful data type in Python that allow you to store unique elements. They are useful when you need to perform operations such as removing duplicates or finding common elements between multiple sets. By understanding how to create and manipulate sets using the built-in methods and operators discussed in this tutorial, you can leverage the power of sets in your Python programs.

Discord Server - Web Server - Private Server - DNS Server - Object-Oriented Programming - Scripting - Data Types - Data Structures

Privacy Policy