Lab 6: Part 1 - For Loops & Lists

Preface: Sample lists

In this first part of today's lab, we'll be writing functions that work with a list of words.

To help with testing your functions, we've included the following files which contain long lists of words:

File name Variable(s) created   greetings, colors, fruit, etc.   tinyWordList, smallWordList   beautifulLyricList, beforeHeCheatsLyricList, etc.   englishwords

Note: DO NOT attempt to open in Thonny (although you're free to open the other files and look at what's in them). contains so many words on a single line of code that Thonny on some computers will slow down and hang if you try to open it. You may have to force-quite and restart Thonny if this happens.

Here is a sample of what the contents of looks like:

# CS111 Lab 6
# Sample lists for testing, composed of song lyrics

beautifulLyricList = ["You're", 'insecure', "Don't", 'know', 'what', 'for', ...
beforeHeCheatsLyricList = ['Right', 'now', "he's", 'probably', 'slow', ...
iGetByWithALittleHelpLyricList = ['What', 'would', 'you', 'think', 'if', ...

To access these lists in your code, add the name of the relevant file at the top of your code, e.g.:

# Import songLyrics for access to beautifulLyricList, beforeHeCheatsLyricList, etc.
from songLyrics import *

Note: to use the debugger, you may have to comment out the import for, because otherwise the debugger will get stuck at this import.

Preface: Useful Python reminders


len() returns the number of items in a list (or a string), e.g.:

len(["happy","birthday"]) # Results: 2

len("mississippi") # Results: 11

Add to a list

The append method can be used to add new items to the end of a list, e.g.

myFriends = [] # Start with an empty list

myFriends.append('taylor') # Add taylor
myFriends # Results: ['taylor']

myFriends.append('ed') # Next add ed
myFriends # Results: ['taylor','ed']

pets = ['charlotte','wilbur'] # Start a new list
pets.append('templeton') # Add templeton
print (pets) # Results: ['charlotte','wilbur','templeton']

Your task: List Manipulations

Create a new file called and write functions to answer the following questions.

1. wordsStartWithA

Partner A

How many words in a given word list begin with the lowercase letter a?

Define a function named wordsStartWithA which will return the number of words from a list of words that start with 'a'. The function should have a single parameter, which is the list of words to look at.

Hint: Use a variable to keep track of how many words start with a, looking at each word one at a time as you loop through the list of words. Below is a sample iteration table to help you see how the function should work with the list

wordsStartWithA(['apple', 'orange', 'apricot','Avocado', 'pear'])

Iteration table

word  count 
N/A 0
'apple' 1
'orange' 1
'apricot' 2
'Avocado' 2
'pear' 2


from songLyrics import *
from wordLists import *
from vocabulary import *

# [...Your function definition here...]

if __name__ == '__main__':
    # For any of the list functions you write today, you may want to start off
    # with a very small, hard-coded list where you can easily identify
    # the expected outcome, e.g.:
    print (wordsStartWithA(['apple', 'orange', 'apricot', 'Avocado', 'pear']))
    # Expected outcome: 2

    # Then, you can test on the bigger lists described on the top of this page:
    print (wordsStartWithA(smallWordList)) # 65
    print (wordsStartWithA(loveStoryLyricList)) # 27
    print (wordsStartWithA(englishwords)) # 3685
    print (wordsStartWithA(beautifulLyricList)) # 17
    print (wordsStartWithA(imSoFancyLyricList)) # 17

Side note - Test code

Moving forward, we'll leave the if __name__ == '__main__': out of examples for the sake of brevity, but you can assume any test code in your file is nested in a "main block"

# function definitions here!

if __name__ == '__main__':

    # test code here!

2. averageLength

Partner B

What is the average word length of a given list of words? Here's an example:

miniList = ['apple','pie']

The total length of the words in miniList is 5 + 3 = 8.

8/2 = 4.0, so the average length of works in miniList is 4.0.

Round your results to 2 digits after the decimal point.


print (averageLength(imSoFancyLyricList)) # 4.06
print (averageLength(beautifulLyricList)) # 4.03
print (averageLength(beforeHeCheatsLyricList)) # 4.27
print (averageLength(loveStoryLyricList)) # 3.87
print (averageLength(thriftShopLyricList)) # 4.44
print (averageLength(iGetByWithALittleHelpLyricList)) # 3.66
print (averageLength(tinyWordList)) # 5.7
print (averageLength(smallWordList)) # 6.08
print (averageLength(englishwords)) # 8.37

3. countYou

Which song uses the word "you" the most?

Hint: Make sure you count "You" and "YOU" and not just "you".


print (countYou(["you", "probably", "think", "this", "song", "is", "about", "you"])) # 2
print (countYou(imSoFancyLyricList)) # 17
print (countYou(beautifulLyricList)) # 43
print (countYou(beforeHeCheatsLyricList)) # 1
print (countYou(loveStoryLyricList)) # 16
print (countYou(thriftShopLyricList)) # 5
print (countYou(iGetByWithALittleHelpLyricList)) # 10

4. wordsWithLess

Partner A

Which words in a given word list contain the word less?

Hint: append is useful here to build a list of words that contain less in them. Start with an empty list and append each word that meets the criteria. Then return the list.

Task 4a: Fill in this iteration table before writing your function (the first row has been done for you).

>>> wordsWithLess(['careless','apple','lessen','pear','mindless'])
['careless', 'lessen', 'mindless']
word newlist
N/A [ ]

After you and your partner fill in the table, click here.

Task 4b: Define the function wordsWithless (see examples below).


print (wordsWithLess(['careless', 'careful']))
# Results: ['careless']

print (wordsWithLess(smallWordList))
# Results: ['painless']

print (wordsWithLess(englishwords))
# Results: a list with 401 words
# ['ageless', 'agelessness', 'aimless', ..., 'worthlessness']

print (wordsWithLess(beforeHeCheatsLyricList))
# Results: []

5. longestWords

Partner B

This function returns a list with the longest word(s) in a song or word list (without repeating words).


print (longestWords(["apple", "apricot", "pear", "coconut", "orange"]))
# Results: ['apricot', 'coconut']

print (longestWords(imSoFancyLyricList))
# Results: ['department', 'Chandelier', 'expensive,']

print (longestWords(beautifulLyricList))
# Results: ['overwhelmed', 'desperately']

print (longestWords(beforeHeCheatsLyricList))
# Results: ['bleached-blond']

print (longestWords(loveStoryLyricList))
# Results: ['']

print (longestWords(thriftShopLyricList))
# Results: ['hand-me-downs?']

print (longestWords(iGetByWithALittleHelpLyricList))
# Results: ['Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah']

print (longestWords(englishwords))
# Results: ['electroencephalographs']

6. [Challenge problem] wordsContainAllChars

Partner A

Which words in the wordlist contain all the characters in a given string (e.g. love)?

Assume none of the given strings have duplicate letters (i.e. you won't see a search term like dud).

Task 6a: Fill in this iteration table before writing your function (the first row has been done for you).

>>> wordsContainAllChars(["ab", "abc", "cba", "abracadabra", "xyz"], "abc")
['abc', 'cba', 'abracadabra']
word keeper
N/A [ ]

After you and your partner fill in the table, click here.

Task 6b: Define the function wordsContainAllChars (see examples below). Hint: First, figure out how to tell if one word contains all the letters of another string. Can you and your partner define a predicate to do so?


print (wordsContainAllChars(["ab", "abc", "cba", "abracadabra", "xyz"], "abc"))
# Results: ['abc', 'cba', 'abracadabra']

print(wordsContainAllChars(smallWordList, "pam"))
# Results: ['amorphous', 'atmosphere', 'campanile', 'imperial', 'pam',
# 'pamela', 'polynomial', 'program', 'scamper', 'temptation']

print(wordsContainAllChars(loveStoryLyricList, "love"))
# Results: ['love', 'love', 'love', 'love', 'love', 'love']

print(wordsContainAllChars(thriftShopLyricList, "ough"))
# Results: ['bought', 'bought', 'bought', 'through', 'dough', 'through']

# Results: ['advertising', 'asseverating', ..., 'vegetarianism', 'vegetarians']

More list manipulations (time permitting)

Note: If there are 40 minutes or less in lab by the time you get to this, you should skip the following tasks and move on to the next part of the lab.

Create a new file called in your lab06 folder.

Note that the lab download folder included a file called which contains sample lists you can use for testing. Study this file to see what lists are available, and then add from sampleLists import * to the top of your file so they're available for use in your file.

Using these sample lists, create the following functions.

1. filterDrop

Partner B

Write a function called filterDrop(value, mylist) that takes a value and a list and returns a new list with all the occurrences of the given value dropped.


print (filterDrop('James', skyfall))
# Results: ['M', 'Q', 'Moneypenny', 'JamesBond', 'Bond', 'Silva', 'Patrice']

print (filterDrop('Q', skyfall))
# Results: ['M', 'Moneypenny', 'James', 'JamesBond', 'Bond', 'Silva', 'Patrice']

2. filterLength

Partner A

Write a function called filterLength that when given a maxLength and a list of pairs, returns a list of only the pairs that, when summed together, are shorter than the maxLength.


print (filterLength(10, roster))
# Results: [['Yoyo','Ma'],['Sohie','Lee'],['Jean','Herbst'],['Santa','Claus']]

print (filterLength(12, roster))
# Results: [['Yoyo','Ma'],['Sohie','Lee'],['Jean','Herbst'],['Brian','Tjaden'],['Santa','Claus'],['Happy','Camper'],['Harry','Styles'],['Taylor','Swift']]

3. mapPluralize

Partner B

Write a function called mapPluralize(mylist) that takes a list of words and returns a new list with the plurals of each of the words.

The nouns are pluralized by adding the suffix s, e.g. the plural of bagel is bagels. You do not have to handle special cases like kiss -> kisses.


print (mapPluralize(['assignment']))
# Results: ['assignments']

print (mapPluralize(['donut', 'muffin', 'bagel']))
# Results: ['donuts', 'muffins', 'bagels']

print (mapPluralize(['tree' ,'witch' , 'kiss', 'moose', 'alpaca']))
# Results: ['trees', 'witchs', 'kisss', 'mooses', 'alpacas']

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