FAQ: Code Challenge: String Methods - Count Letters


This community-built FAQ covers the “Count Letters” exercise from the lesson “Code Challenge: String Methods”.

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FAQs on the exercise Count Letters

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I have a question about the suggested code:

def unique_english_letters(word):
> uniques = 0
>>for letter in letters:
>>if letter in word:
>>>uniques += 1

return uniques

In this case, calling the function with the argument ‘mississippi’ returns a value of 4. I see that there are only 4 distinct letters, but what part of the code makes it so letters aren’t added to “uniques” more than once? Thanks!


Because your code is iterating over letters which is comprised of all unique characters.

In technical terms, we wouldn’t need to iterate the long string, just the word and compare it to the letters string.

uniques = []
for letter in word:
    if letter in letters and not letter in uniques:
return len(uniques)


Ohh, I see. That makes a lot more sense now. I was thinking of some other ways to do it, too, but your explanation helps a lot. Thank you!


Thanks for contributing this method too, it does illustrate and explain the function in another way!