Difference between sort and sorted

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What is the difference between sort() and sorted() in python? I have seen few code examples and outputs but I don't know the logic. Please explain.
Feb 7, 2019 in Python by Disha

2 answers to this question.

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sort() basically works with the list itself. It modifies the original list in place. The return value is None.

sorted() works on any iterable that may include list, dictionary and so on. It returns another list and doesn't modify the original list.

answered Feb 7, 2019 by Omkar
• 69,230 points
0 votes

when to use which?

  • Use list.sort when you do not wish to retain the original sort order (Thus you will be able to reuse the list in-place in memory.) and when you are the sole owner of the list (if the list is shared by other code and you mutate it, you could introduce bugs where that list is used.)
  • Use sorted when you want to retain the original sort order or when you wish to create a new list that only your local code owns.

A large sized list being sorted with sorted making a copy will likely dominate differences, but the sorting itself dominates the operation, and organizing your code around these differences would be premature optimization. I would use sorted when I need a new sorted list of the data, and I would use list.sort when I need to sort a list in-place, and let that determine my usage.

answered Mar 26, 2020 by rahul
• 360 points

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