# 9.9. Lists and strings¶

A string is a sequence of characters and a list is a sequence of values, but a list of characters is not the same as a string. To convert from a string to a list of characters, you can use list:

Because list is the name of a built-in function, you should avoid using it as a variable name. I also avoid the letter “l” because it looks too much like the number “1”. So that’s why I use “t”.

The list function breaks a string into individual letters. If you want to break a string into words, you can use the split method:

Once you have used split to break the string into a list of words, you can use the index operator (square bracket) to look at a particular word in the list.

You can call split with an optional argument called a delimiter that specifies which characters to use as word boundaries. The following example uses a hyphen as a delimiter:

join is the inverse of split. It takes a list of strings and concatenates the elements. join is a string method, so you have to invoke it on the delimiter and pass the list as a parameter:

In this case the delimiter is a space character, so join puts a space between words. To concatenate strings without spaces, you can use the empty string, “”, as a delimiter.