# How To Sum Values In A Python List?

Last updated on December 13th, 2022

In Python, there are many ways to sum the elements of a list. In this article, we’ll take a look at a few techniques for adding up all the items in a list.

## Function `sum()`

The simplest way to sum the elements of a list is to use the built-in Python function, sum(). To use it, simply pass in your list as an argument. For example:

``````numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
sum(numbers)``````

The sum() function will iterate through the list, adding each element to the total. It’s a quick and efficient way to get the sum of a list without having to write your own loop.

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## For Loop

If you prefer writing your own loops, there are several ways to do so as well. One option is to use a for loop. For example:

``````numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
total = 0
for number in numbers:
total += number
print(total)``````

This technique iterates through the list, adding each element to the running total. It’s a simple and straightforward way to sum up all the elements of a list.

## Using The `reduce()` function From The `functools` Module:

You can also use Python’s reduce() function to get the sum of a list. This approach is slightly more complicated than using a for loop or sum(), but it provides an efficient way to add up all the elements in the list. For example:

``````from functools import reduce

numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
total = reduce(lambda x, y: x + y, numbers)
print(total)``````

The reduce() function takes two arguments – a lambda expression and the list. It will iterate through each element in the list, applying your lambda expression to each one before finally returning the result.

## List Comprehension

List comprehension is a powerful feature in Python that allows you to create a new list by applying an operation to each element in a list. This can be a convenient way to perform a simple operation on a list, such as summing the values in the list.

Here is an example of using a list comprehension to sum the values in a list:

``````numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
total = sum([x for x in numbers])
print(total)``````

In this example, the `total` variable will contain the sum of the values in the `numbers` list, which is 15.

To use a list comprehension, you start with the `[` and `]` characters, followed by the operation you want to apply to each element in the list. In this case, the operation is simply to keep the value of `x` for each element in the list. Then, you specify the `for` keyword, followed by the variable you want to use to represent each element in the list (in this case `x`), followed by the `in` keyword, and finally the list you want to operate on (in this case `numbers`).

List comprehension is a compact and efficient way to apply a simple operation to each element in a list, and can be an alternative to using a `for` loop or the `map()` function to perform the same operation.

## In Summary

There are several ways to sum the elements of a list in Python. The simplest approach is to use the built-in sum() function, which takes an iterable and returns the sum of its elements. If you prefer, you can also write your own loop or use reduce() from the functools module.

Finally, for those with a bit more experience with Python, list comprehension can be used as an alternative to loops or functions for quickly applying an operation to each element in a list.

No matter which method you choose, you should now have the tools needed to calculate the sum of any list in Python!

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Categorized as Python ## By Ramunas Berkmanas

As a full-stack marketer, I have been actively involved in the digital marketing industry since 2014. Over the years, I have gained extensive experience in various areas such as SEO, media buying, and performance marketing. Read my story