Python Dictionary Append Example

1. Introduction

In Python, dictionaries are used to store data in key-value pairs. Unlike lists, dictionaries don't have an append method. However, adding new elements or appending to existing elements in a dictionary is a common task, which can be achieved using different methods.

Appending to a dictionary typically means adding a new key-value pair or updating the value associated with an existing key. If the value is a list, appending may mean adding a new item to the list.

2. Program Steps

1. Start with an existing dictionary.

2. Determine the key where the value should be appended or updated.

3. Check if the key exists and if its value is a list; then append to it. Otherwise, update or add the key-value pair.

4. Output the updated dictionary.

3. Code Program

# Initialize a dictionary with a list as a value
my_dict = {'numbers': [1, 2, 3], 'letters': ['a', 'b']}

# Append to the list under the 'numbers' key

# Append a new key-value pair
my_dict['colors'] = ['red']

# Check if the 'letters' key exists and append, else create a new list
if 'letters' in my_dict:
    my_dict['letters'] = ['c']

# Print the updated dictionary
print(f"Updated dictionary: {my_dict}")


Updated dictionary: {'numbers': [1, 2, 3, 4], 'letters': ['a', 'b', 'c'], 'colors': ['red']}


1. my_dict is initialized with two keys: 'numbers' and 'letters', each with a list as its value.

2. .append(4) is called on the list associated with the 'numbers' key to add a new element.

3. A new key 'colors' with a list ['red'] as its value is added to my_dict.

4. An if statement checks if the key 'letters' exists. Since it does, .append('c') is called on its list.

5. print outputs my_dict, showing the appended values and the newly added key-value pair.