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Python String split()

Last Updated : 05 Jan, 2024
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Python String split() method splits a string into a list of strings after breaking the given string by the specified separator.



string = "one,two,three"
words = string.split(',')


['one', 'two', 'three']

Python String split() Method Syntax

Syntax: str.split(separator, maxsplit)


  • separator: This is a delimiter. The string splits at this specified separator. If is not provided then any white space is a separator.
  • maxsplit: It is a number, that tells us to split the string into a maximum of the provided number of times. If it is not provided then the default is -1 which means there is no limit.


Returns a list of strings after breaking the given string by the specified separator.

What is the list split() Method?

split() function operates on Python strings, by splitting a string into a list of strings. It is a built-in function in Python programming language.

It breaks the string by a given separator. Whitespace is the default separator if any separator is not given. 

How to use list split() method in Python?

Using the list split() method is very easy, just call the split() function with a string object and pass the separator as a parameter. Here we are using the Python String split() function to split different Strings into a list, separated by different characters in each case.

Example: In the above code, we have defined the variable ‘text’ with the string ‘geeks for geeks’ then we called the split() method for ‘text’ with no parameters which split the string with each occurrence of whitespace.


text = 'geeks for geeks'
# Splits at space
word = 'geeks, for, geeks'
# Splits at ','
word = 'geeks:for:geeks'
# Splitting at ':'
word = 'CatBatSatFatOr'
# Splitting at t

Similarly, after that, we applied split() method on different strings with different delimiters as parameters based on which strings are split as seen in the output.


['geeks', 'for', 'geeks']
['geeks', ' for', ' geeks']
['geeks', 'for', 'geeks']
['Ca', 'Ba', 'Sa', 'Fa', 'Or']

Time Complexity: O(n)
Auxiliary Space: O(n)

How does split() work when maxsplit is specified?

The maxsplit parameter is used to control how many splits to return after the string is parsed. Even if there are multiple splits possible, it’ll only do maximum that number of splits as defined by the maxsplit parameter.

Example: In the above code, we used the split() method with different values of maxsplit. We give maxsplit value as 0 which means no splitting will occur.


word = 'geeks, for, geeks, pawan'
# maxsplit: 0
print(word.split(', ', 0))
# maxsplit: 4
print(word.split(', ', 4))
# maxsplit: 1
print(word.split(', ', 1))

The value of maxsplit 4 means the string is split at each occurrence of the delimiter, up to a maximum of 4 splits. And last maxsplit 1 means the string is split only at the first occurrence of the delimiter and the resulting lists have 1, 4, and 2 elements respectively.


['geeks, for, geeks, pawan']
['geeks', 'for', 'geeks', 'pawan']
['geeks', 'for, geeks, pawan']

Time Complexity: O(n)
Auxiliary Space: O(n)

How to Parse a String in Python using the split() Method?

In Python, parsing strings is a common task when working with text data. String parsing involves splitting a string into smaller segments based on a specific delimiter or pattern. This can be easily done by using a split() method in Python.


text = "Hello geek, Welcome to GeeksforGeeks."
result = text.split()

Explanation: In the above code, we have defined a string ‘text’ that contains a sentence. By calling the split() method without providing a separator, the string is split into a list of substrings, with each word becoming an element of the list.


['Hello', 'geek,', 'Welcome', 'to', 'GeeksforGeeks.']

Hope this tutorial on the string split() method helped you understand the concept of string splitting. split() method in Python has various applications like string parsing, string extraction, and many more. “How to split in Python?” is a very important question for Python job interviews and with this tutorial we have answered the question for you.

Check More: String Methods 

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