# How does the max() function work on list of strings in python?

## How does the max() function work on list of strings in python?

```I have a list:
list1 = [123, 'xyz', 'zara', 'abc']
print "Max value element : ", max(list1);

It gives:
Max value element : zara

Please also explain how it perform comparison on list of strings and list of numbers.
```

## Solutions/Answers:

### Answer 1:

This is actually a good question and the answer varies depending on whether you’re on python2.x or python3.x … And which python implementation you’re using1.

See here for a description of how python compares different types. The link says pretty much all that you need to know, but as a quick summary:

• comparison of objects of the same type acts as you’d expect.
• comparison of objects of different type are ordered by their type name on python2.x and raise an error on python3.x (Unless a custom comparison operator is defined.)
• old style classes break all the rules but they shouldn’t be used anyway.

1Hopefully you can see by the amount of uncertainty there that this is not really well defined and so it’s a situation that you should try to avoid.

### Answer 2:

It “orders” the words alphabetically and returns the one that is at the bottom of the alphabetic list (for the record, it doesn’t not change the order of the items in your list, that’s why I wrote “orders” inside quotation marks):

``````list1 = ["kyle", "darius"]
max(list1)
``````

–> returns kyle because k is after d

``````list2 = ["kaula", "kzla", "kayla", "kwala"]
max(list2)
``````

–> returns kzla because kz is alphabetically ordered after ka and kw

``````list3 = ["kyle", "darius", "janna", "set", "annie", "warwick", "bauuuuuu"]
max(list3)
``````

–> returns warwick

I’m using python 3.7, and when I try to mix strings with numbers:

``````list4 = [13341412, "zara", "jane", "kada"]
max(list4)
``````

I get an error:

Traceback (most recent call last): File “”, line 1, in
TypeError: ‘>’ not supported between instances of ‘str’ and
‘int’

At least in python 3.7, you cannot mix integers with strings.