Fix Python – How to check if a string contains an element from a list in Python


Asked By – tkit

I have something like this:

extensionsToCheck = ['.pdf', '.doc', '.xls']

for extension in extensionsToCheck:
    if extension in url_string:

I am wondering what would be the more elegant way to do this in Python (without using the for loop)? I was thinking of something like this (like from C/C++), but it didn’t work:

if ('.pdf' or '.doc' or '.xls') in url_string:

Edit: I’m kinda forced to explain how this is different to the question below which is marked as potential duplicate (so it doesn’t get closed I guess).

The difference is, I wanted to check if a string is part of some list of strings whereas the other question is checking whether a string from a list of strings is a substring of another string. Similar, but not quite the same and semantics matter when you’re looking for an answer online IMHO. These two questions are actually looking to solve the opposite problem of one another. The solution for both turns out to be the same though.

Now we will see solution for issue: How to check if a string contains an element from a list in Python


Use a generator together with any, which short-circuits on the first True:

if any(ext in url_string for ext in extensionsToCheck):

EDIT: I see this answer has been accepted by OP. Though my solution may be “good enough” solution to his particular problem, and is a good general way to check if any strings in a list are found in another string, keep in mind that this is all that this solution does. It does not care WHERE the string is found e.g. in the ending of the string. If this is important, as is often the case with urls, you should look to the answer of @Wladimir Palant, or you risk getting false positives.

This question is answered By – Lauritz V. Thaulow

This answer is collected from stackoverflow and reviewed by FixPython community admins, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0