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Python | Largest, Smallest, Second Largest, Second Smallest in a List

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  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 16 May, 2022

Since, unlike other programming languages, Python does not have arrays, instead, it has list. Using lists is more easy and comfortable to work with in comparison to arrays. Moreover, the vast inbuilt functions of Python, make the task easier. So using these techniques, let’s try to find the various ranges of the number in a given list. 

Examples:

Input : list = [12, 45, 2, 41, 31, 10, 8, 6, 4]
Output : 
Largest element is: 45
Smallest element is: 2
Second Largest element is: 41
Second Smallest element is: 4
Input : list = [22, 85, 62, 40, 55, 12, 39, 2, 43]
Output :
Largest element is: 85
Smallest element is: 2
Second Largest element is: 62
Second Smallest element is: 12

The approach is simple. Python allows us to sort a list using the list() function. Using this we can find various ranges of numbers in a list, from their position, after being sorted. Like the first position must contain the smallest and the last element must be the greatest. 

Python3




# Python prog to illustrate the following in a list
def find_len(list1):
    length = len(list1)
    list1.sort()
    print("Largest element is:", list1[length-1])
    print("Smallest element is:", list1[0])
    print("Second Largest element is:", list1[length-2])
    print("Second Smallest element is:", list1[1])
 
# Driver Code
list1=[12, 45, 2, 41, 31, 10, 8, 6, 4]
Largest = find_len(list1)
Output:
Largest element is: 45
Smallest element is: 2
Second Largest element is: 41
Second Smallest element is: 4

Below is another traditional method to do the following calculation. The algorithm is simple, we take a number and compare it with all other numbers present in the list and get the largest, smallest, second largest, and second smallest element. 

Python3




# Python program to find largest, smallest,
# second largest and second smallest in a
# list with complexity O(n)
def Range(list1):
    largest = list1[0]
    lowest = list1[0]
    largest2 = None
    lowest2 = None
    for item in list1[1:]:    
        if item > largest:
            largest2 = largest
            largest = item
        elif largest2 is None or largest2 < item:
            largest2 = item
        if item < lowest:
            lowest2 = lowest
            lowest = item
        elif lowest2 is None or lowest2 > item:
            lowest2 = item
             
    print("Largest element is:", largest)
    print("Smallest element is:", lowest)
    print("Second Largest element is:", largest2)
    print("Second Smallest element is:", lowest2)
 
 
# Driver Code
list1 = [12, 45, 2, 41, 31, 10, 8, 6, 4]
Range(list1)
Output:
Largest element is: 45
Smallest element is: 2
Second Largest element is: 41
Second Smallest element is: 4

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