AttributeError: 'list' object has no attribute 'startswith'

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Wed Apr 20 20222 min read

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AttributeError: 'list' object has no attribute 'startswith' #

The Python "AttributeError: 'list' object has no attribute 'startswith'" occurs when we call the startswith() method on a list instead of a string. To solve the error, call startswith() on a string, e.g. by accessing the list at a specific index or by iterating over the list.

attributeerror list object has no attribute startswith

Here is an example of how the error occurs.

main.py
my_list = ['apple', 'apricot', 'banana'] # ⛔️ AttributeError: 'list' object has no attribute 'startswith' if my_list.startswith('ap'): print('success')

We created a list with 3 elements and tried to call the startswith() method on the list which caused the error.

The startswith() method is string-specific, so we have to call it on a string, and not on a list object.

One way to solve the error is to access the list at a specific index before calling startswith().

main.py
my_list = ['apple', 'apricot', 'banana'] if my_list[0].startswith('ap'): print('string starts with ap')

We accessed the list element at index 0 and called the startswith() method on the string.

If you need to call the startswith() method on each string in a list, use a for loop.

main.py
my_list = ['apple', 'apricot', 'banana'] for word in my_list: if word.startswith('ap'): print('string starts with ap')

We used a for loop to iterate over the list and called the startswith() method on each string.

The str.startswith method returns True if the string starts with the provided prefix, otherwise the method returns False.

The "AttributeError: 'list' object has no attribute 'startswith'" occurs when we try to call the startswith() method on a list instead of a string.

To solve the error, you either have to correct the assignment of the variable and make sure to call startswith() on a string, or call startswith() on an element in the list that is of type string.

You can either access the list at a specific index, e.g. my_list[0] or use a for loop to iterate over the list if you have to call startswith() on each element.

You can view all the attributes an object has by using the dir() function.

main.py
my_list = ['a', 'b', 'c'] # 👉️ [... 'append', 'clear', 'copy', 'count', 'extend', 'index', # 'insert', 'pop', 'remove', 'reverse', 'sort' ...] print(dir(my_list))

If you pass a class to the dir() function, it returns a list of names of the classes' attributes, and recursively of the attributes of its bases.

If you try to access any attribute that is not in this list, you would get the "AttributeError: list object has no attribute" error.

Since startswith() is not a method implemented by lists, the error is caused.

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