# Python List – Slice first N elements

Contents

## Python List – Slice first N elements

To slice the first N element from a given list in Python, you can use regular slicing expression with a specified end index N.

If N is the number of first elements that we need to slice in a list my_list, then the expression is

``my_list[:N]``

The above expression returns a new list with the first N elements from the original list.

## Examples

In the following examples, we shall go through use cases of slicing first N elements from a given list, when the length of given list is greater than the specified N, and when then the length of given list is less than the specified N.

### 1. Slice first 3 elements from list in Python

In this example, we are given a list in my_list. We have to slice the first 3 elements from this list using list slicing.

#### Steps

1. Given a list in my_list with six elements.
``my_list = [10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60]``
1. Given N to slice first N elements from the list.
``N = 3  ``
1. Use list slicing to slice the first N elements of the list my_list.
``my_list[:N]``

This returns a list with the first N elements. Assign it to a variable, say sliced_list.

``sliced_list = my_list[:N]``
1. You may print the sliced list to output.
``print(sliced_list)``

#### Program

The complete program to slice first N elements from a Python list.

Python Program

``````# Given list
my_list = [10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60]

# Number of elements to slice from the start
N = 3

# Slice the list
sliced_list = my_list[:N]

# Print sliced list
print(sliced_list)``````
Run Code Copy

Output

``[10, 20, 30]``

### 2. Slice first 3 elements from list in Python, but length of list is less than 3

In this example, we are given a list in my_list with only two elements. We have to slice the first 3 elements from this list.

If the length of given list is less than the N (number of first elements to slice), a copy of the original list is returned by the slice expression my_list[:N].

Python Program

``````# Given list
my_list = [10, 20]

# Number of elements to slice from the start
N = 3

# Slice the list
sliced_list = my_list[:N]

# Print sliced list
print(sliced_list)``````
Run Code Copy

Output

``[10, 20]``

## Summary

In this Python lists tutorial, we have seen how to slice the first N elements of a given list using regular slicing expression, provided a step by step explanation, and examples.

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