Sorting and Printing a List in Reverse with Python

Last Updated On Friday 12th Nov 2021

Reverse a List python

Sorting a List Permanently with the sort() Method

Python’s sort() method makes it relatively easy to sort a list. Imagine we have a list of student names and want to change the order of the list to store them alphabetically.

	students = ['benny', 'alice', 'tony', 'sam']
students.sort()
print(students)
	

The sort() method, changes the order of the list permanently. The students are now in alphabetical order, and we can never revert to the original order.

	# ['alice', 'benny', 'sam', 'tony']
	

How to Reverse a List in Python

You can also sort this list in reverse alphabetical order by passing the argument reverse=True to the sort() method.

	students = ['benny', 'alice', 'tony', 'sam']
students.sort(reverse=True)
print(students)
	

Again, the order of the list is permanently changed

	['tony', 'sam', 'benny', 'alice']
	

Sorting a List Temporarily with the sorted() Function

To maintain the original order of a list but present it in a sorted order, you can use the sorted() function. The sorted() function lets you display your list in a particular order but doesn’t affect the actual order of the list.

	students = ['benny', 'alice', 'tony', 'sam']

print("Here is the original list:")
print(students)

print("\nHere is the sorted list:")
print(sorted(students))
	
	Here is the original list:
['benny', 'alice', 'tony', 'sam']

Here is the sorted list
['alice', 'benny', 'sam', 'tony']
	

Notice that the list still exists in its original order after the sorted() function has been used. The sorted() function can also accept a reverse=True argument if you want to display a list in reverse alphabetical order.

Printing a List in Reverse Order

To reverse the original order of a list, you can use the reverse() method.

	students = ['benny', 'alice', 'tony', 'sam']
print(students)
students.reverse()
print(students)
	

The reverse() doesn’t sort backward alphabetically.It simply reverses the order of the list.

	['benny', 'alice', 'tony', 'sam']

['sam', 'tony', 'alice', 'benny']