Unpacking a list / tuple of pairs into two lists / tuples

Possible Duplicate:
A Transpose/Unzip Function in Python

I have a list that looks like this:

list = (("1","a"),("2","b"),("3","c"),("4","d"))

I want to separate the list in 2 lists.

list1 = ("1","2","3","4")
list2 = ("a","b","c","d")

I can do it for example with:

list1 = []
list2 = []
for i in list:

But I want to know if there is a more elegant solution.

Answer rating: 398

>>> source_list = ("1","a"),("2","b"),("3","c"),("4","d")
>>> list1, list2 = zip(*source_list)
>>> list1
("1", "2", "3", "4")
>>> list2
("a", "b", "c", "d")

Edit: Note that zip(*iterable) is its own inverse:

>>> list(source_list) == zip(*zip(*source_list))

When unpacking into two lists, this becomes:

>>> list1, list2 = zip(*source_list)
>>> list(source_list) == zip(list1, list2)

Addition suggested by rocksportrocker.

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