How to Append to a List and Create a Variable in Python

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to efficiently append an item to a list while simultaneously creating a variable in Python. By leveraging assignment expressions and inline operations, you can streamline your code and enhance readability.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

At times, there arises a need to add an item to a list and have it available as a separate variable. Traditionally, this process involved multiple steps, but with Python’s dynamic features, we can simplify this task into a single expression. By using the walrus operator introduced in Python 3.8, we can achieve this with elegance and efficiency.


# Initialize our list
my_list = []

# Append new element '42' to my_list while assigning it to var in one line
var = my_list.append(42) if (var := 42) else None

# Illustrate results
print("List:", my_list)
print("Variable:", var)

# Copyright PHD


The code above demonstrates the following steps: – Assigning 42: The walrus operator := assigns 42 to the variable var. – Appending: The value of var (which is 42) is appended to my_list. – Ternary Conditional Operator: Checking if the assignment was successful before appending.

This method showcases how we can achieve the desired outcome efficiently while maintaining code clarity.

  1. Can I Use the Walrus Operator in Older Versions of Python?

  2. No, the walrus operator is available from Python 3.8 onwards.

  3. Is Inline Assignment Always Recommended?

  4. While inline assignments can make code concise and clear, excessive use may reduce readability. It’s best used judiciously.

  5. What Are Other Uses for The Walrus Operator?

  6. Apart from appending elements into lists with assignments, it can be utilized in loops and other scenarios requiring conditional assignments.

  7. Does This Technique Work With Other Data Structures?

  8. Yes! This technique is applicable not only for lists but also for dictionaries, sets, etc., based on specific requirements.

  9. Can I Append Multiple Items Using This Method?

  10. Appending multiple items individually would involve repeating the operation or adjusting your approach as this method focuses on single-item operations.


Mastering the art of appending items to lists while creating separate variables expands your coding capabilities significantly. Utilizing assignment expressions optimizes code length and enhances maintainability´┐Ża valuable skill for any Python developer working extensively with data structures.

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