## Get difference between two lists in Python

The difference between two lists results in a list containing the items that are in the first list but not the second.

For example:

The difference between lists **[1, 3, 5]** and** [5, 7, 9]** gives list** ****[1, 2]. **

Whereas, symmetric difference between two lists results in a list containing elements from any one of the lists but are not in both of them.

For example:

The symmetric difference between **[1, 3, 5]** and **[5, 7, 9]** is **[1, 3, 7, 9].**

Now let’s learn how to find these differences.

**1. Using in and not in operators:**

The **in** operator checks if a value is present in a given sequence or not and returns a Boolean value, **True **if present else **False**. The **not in** operator works exactly in the converse way.

**Example:**

list_1 = [1, 3, 5] list_2 = [5, 7, 9] list_difference = [] for ele in list_1: if ele not in list_2: list_difference.append(ele) print(list_difference)

**Output:**

**2. Using list comprehension with ‘in’ and ‘not in’:**

This is a one-liner alternative to the above method.

**Example:**

list_1 = [1, 3, 5] list_2 = [5, 7, 9] list_difference = [ele for ele in list_1 if ele not in list_2] print(list_difference)

**Output:**

**3. Using set():**

A set is a data structure that is both **unordered **and **unindexed**. They store collections of **unique items **separated by commas enclosed within parentheses. **Sets won’t store duplicate values, unlike lists**.

As we know, sets cannot store duplicate items, we explicitly convert the lists into sets and get the difference using the** subtract operator**. Now we convert this difference into** list type** using the** list() **function.

**Example:**

list_1 = [1, 3, 5] list_2 = [5, 7, 9] set_difference = set(list_1) - set(list_2) list_difference = list(set_difference) print(list_difference)

**Output:**

**4. Using symmetric_difference():**

We first convert both lists into sets using the **set()** function. We then find the symmetric difference by **set_1.symmetric_difference(set_2)**. Once we get the symmetric difference we convert it into** list type** using the** list() **function.

**Example:**

list_1 = [1, 3, 5] list_2 = [5, 7, 9] difference = set(list_1).symmetric_difference(set(list_2)) list_difference = list(difference) print(list_difference)

**Output:**