Multiple ways to do python Intersection list example

This tutorials explains about intersection of two lists. Intersection means an returns list of element, where each element exists in two lists. It is an alias overlap or common elements in both list.

For example, two list contains following data

list1 = [11,12,13,14,5,9,20]
list2 = [1,2,11,9,20]

Intersection of list1 and list2 is [11,9,20]

Python Intersection lists example

Multiple ways we can do

  • using for in list

It is an native way of doing

  • Iterate an each element in a list1
  • Check element exists in list2, if exists, append to an list
list1 = [11,12,13,14,5,9,20]
list2 = [1,2,11,9,20]

result = [val for val in list1 if val in list2]
print(result)# [11, 9, 20]

Let’s see if there is an duplicate element in the list.

list1 contains 11 elements repeated twice.

list1 = [11,12,13,14,5,9,11,20]
list2 = [1,2,11,9,20]
result = [val for val in list1 if val in list2]


Pros: Order of an element are preseved


  • Time complexity is o(n*2)
  • Duplicate elements returned if exists

Second #2 using set

  • Convert the list into set using set(list)constructor
  • Join the two sets using & operator, returns set of common elements
  • Again Convert to list using list(set) constructor

Here is an example

list1 = [11,12,13,14,5,9,20]
list2 = [1,2,11,9,20]
result=list(set(list1) & set(list2))

print(result) #[9, 11, 20]
  • It is O(n) time complexity
  • Duplicate elements not allowed
  • Order is not guarented.