Tutorial: How to Skip a Value in a List in Python

How to Skip a Value in a List in Python


Learning how to skip a value in a Python list is an important skill to have as it can help you write more efficient and effective code. Skipping values in lists can be done in several different ways, depending on the specific situation. Learning how to skip a value in a Python list is an important skill that can help make your code more efficient and effective. Depending on the situation, there are several different ways to do this. In this blog post, we’ll cover some of these methods with examples you can use in real-world scenarios. We’ll look at using if-else statements, for loops, while loops and slices when skipping items in a list. By the end of this article, you should understand which technique works best for your needs when working with lists in Python.

Table of Contents:

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Use Cases for Skipping a Value in a List

  • Measuring the Length of a List: For example, when counting the number of items in an array that is populated with strings and integers, ensuring any empty entries are skipped will yield an accurate count.
  • Iterating Through a List: For instance, if you need to loop through a list of names stored as strings in an array, it is important to skip any blank entries so that all elements are handled properly during each iteration.
  • Filtering Data from Lists: For example, when extracting data from a list for analysis purposes it’s necessary to skip over any empty values so only relevant information is included and not excluded inadvertently leading to incorrect results or outcomes.
  • Working With Lists of Tuples: As an example, when working with lists containing tuples composed of multiple data types such as string and integer pairs, omitting any blank entries ensures their elements can be accessed and manipulated without issues throughout the process.
  • Constructing Graphs and Charts: By skipping over empty values while constructing graphs or charts using data from lists helps guarantee the output accurately reflects the original input on its final result

Method 1: Skipping the first item in a Python list

Slicing can be used to skip the first item in a list. To do this, specify the starting index as 1 and the ending index as the length of the list. The following example shows how to skip the first item in a list:

my_list = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
new_list = my_list[1:]


This example shows that we have created a new list called new_list from the existing list my_list, by using slicing to exclude the first element (index 0) of my_list. The result is a new list containing all elements of my_list starting from index 1.

[2, 3, 4, 5]

Method 2: Skipping based on the element value

In Python, you can use a for loop with a conditional statement to omit an element from a list based on its value. As an example, the below code iterates over every item in my_list and if the current element is equal to 3, it utilizes the continue keyword so that iteration is skipped and 3 isn’t printed. The loop then moves onto the subsequent elements of the list:

my_list = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

for num in my_list:
    if num == 3:

Here is the output:


Method 3: Using itertools.islice()

Itertools.islice() is a function that can be used to skip items in a Python list. This function takes the following parameters: an iterable, a start index and an endpoint, which indicates how many elements should be skipped over. The start index is the number of elements from the beginning of the list to skip over before starting to return elements from it; if no such value is provided, then all elements preceding this number are returned as normal. The end point dictates when to stop returning values from the list; once it is reached, no further values will be taken into account for slicing purposes. By skipping or “slicing” out certain items in a given sequence of objects with itertools.islice(), you can make your code more efficient by reducing its runtime complexity and memory usage .

import itertools

my_list = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
skipped_list = itertools.islice(my_list, 1, None)

for item in skipped_list:

Here is the output:


Method 4: Skipping based on its index position

The enumerate() function in Python allows you to iterate through a list and access both the items in the list as well as their index positions. It returns a tuple with the index of each item and its associated value, so you can use this information to skip over certain elements based on their position in the list. Here’s an example of how to use enumerate() to skip an item in a list based on its index position:

my_list = [1, 2, 3, 4, 6]

for index, item in enumerate(my_list):
    if index == 0:

In this example, my_list contains a list of values [1, 2, 3, 4, 6]. We loop through the elements in my_list and their index positions using enumerate(). Then we use an if statement to check whether the current index is 0 (the first item in the list). If it is true, we skip that iteration and move on to the next one by using continue.

Here is the output:


Method 5: Skip based off a condition

In our last method, we’ll explore how to skip multiple items in a list based off a conditional statement, while you can use a similar process to method 2 and use an if check, we can also accomplish this with a filter() and lambda() call. For example, imagine you had to filter out all the odd numbers in a list, you could use this code:

my_list = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]

odd_numbers = list(filter(lambda x: x % 2 != 0, my_list))


In this example, using a lambda function in the filter() function, we can create a new list of odd numbers from 1-10. This is done by using the modulo operator (%) to test if each item in an iterable is divisible by 2; If it’s not divisible (i.e., it’s odd) then True will be returned and that item included in the new list which is assigned to a variable (odd_numbers). Finally, this newly created list can be printed out.

[1, 3, 5, 7, 9]


Learning how to skip a value in a list in Python doesn’t have to be complicated. The key thing to remember is that Python’s slicing syntax comes in handy for manipulating different elements of a list. In conclusion, Python offers many different ways to skip values in a list. The iterslice(), slicing(), and enumerate() methods are just three of the more common techniques that can be used. With these helpful techniques, you’ll have no problem mastering the art of skipping elements in your lists!

If you are interested in further expanding your skillset with Python, why not join a beginner’s course that covers the fundamentals? There is no doubt taking a course will help enhance your understanding of the language and provide you with valuable resources to build on. Once you’re comfortable with the basics, don’t forget to practice what you have learned by applying it in projects or coding challenges!

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Pierian Training
Pierian Training is a leading provider of high-quality technology training, with a focus on data science and cloud computing. Pierian Training offers live instructor-led training, self-paced online video courses, and private group and cohort training programs to support enterprises looking to upskill their employees.

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