FAQ: List Comprehension - First Character

This community-built FAQ covers the “First Character” exercise from the lesson “List Comprehension”.

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This exercise can be found in the following Codecademy content:
Data Science

FAQs on the exercise First Character

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Why talk about using syntax [index], when its not even in the answer. its just confusing

Would you please provide a link to the exercise that you are referring to?

Question for lesson:

I came here for help but there isn’t any for this lesson so I will post my answer and hope that someone can show me how to resolve this more efficiently: (I don’t know how to do ‘for/next’ loops yet)

names = [“Elaine”, “George”, “Jerry”, “Cosmo”]

Extract each name into it’s own ‘list’

name_0 = [names[0]]
name_1 = [names[1]]
name_2 = [names[2]]
name_3 = [names[3]]

Extract the first letter for each name and add it to

the list ‘first_character’

characters = [var1 for var1 in name_0[0]]
first_character = [characters[0]]

characters = [var1 for var1 in name_1[0]]
first_character += [characters[0]]

characters = [var1 for var1 in name_2[0]]
first_character += [characters[0]]

characters = [var1 for var1 in name_3[0]]
first_character += [characters[0]]


One might take it to mean wrap it in brackets, like a list, but that is not what is actually meant, if I’m reading this problem correctly.

names = ['Elaine', 'George', 'Jerry', 'Cosmo']
name_0 = [names[0]]
print (name_0)    # ['Elaine']

All we’ve done above is add more complexity to working with the variable.

Instead, one will need to employ the built in list constructor…

name_0 = list(names[0])
print (name_0)    # ['E', 'l', 'a', 'i', 'n', 'e']

Still reviewing; expect future edits.


I think I found what I was looking for in subsequent lessons, a simpler solution to the First Character problem is:

names = [“Elaine”, “George”, “Jerry”, “Cosmo”]

first_character = [names[0][0], names[1][0], names[2][0], names[3][0]]

The answer to the problem is:

[‘E’, ‘G’, ‘J’, ‘C’]

I would explain this better but I’m new to Python and programming and I don’t know what any of the various elements are called. I’m also new to this forum and don’t know the proper posting standards yet.



Just solved this as well.

a simpler way is to do the following:

names = [“Elaine”, “George”, “Jerry”, “Cosmo”]

first_character = [x[0] for x in names]



for me matt from ohio has this all right down to a tea

[operation for item in list ] remember square brackets for example

[first_character = [name[0] for name in names]

so we replace the word “operation” with the name[0] to get all the characters in the 0 in the memory, and the word item is replaced by the whatever is stored in the variable
and names is the actual variable it is stored in i think this makes sense if not then let me know and i will try and explain it better thanks Ian

so just remember square brackets and this little sentence

[operation for item in list ]

replace the word operation with
whatever action you want to perform and the word item with number, name , string etc whatever is stored in your variable and then replace the word list with the name of the variable
in this instance it is

[operation for item in list]
instead of having above you need this
operation item list
[first_character = [name[0] for name in names]

i think this is making sense if not then let me know thanks Ian

Suggestion: rename list first_character to first_characters (plural, not singular).