Randomly Select Element From List in Python Using choices()

In this tutorial, we will explore how to use the random.choices() function in Python to randomly select more than one element from a given list. We’ll walk through the step-by-step process, explaining the logic and operation of the code. By the end of this blog, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to leverage this function to make random selections in your Python programs.

In Python, the ability to make random selections is a powerful feature that comes in handy for various applications. Whether you need to simulate a game, shuffle data, or simply add an element of randomness to your program, the random.choices() function can be your go-to tool. This function allows you to randomly select one or more elements from a list with ease.

So, if you’re ready to add a touch of randomness to your code and learn how to make multiple random selections from a list, let’s dive into the world of random.choices() in Python.

Python Program to Randomly Select Elements From List Using choices()

# Randomly Select an more than Element From the List using choices() in python

# importing random module
import random

# declaring list
list = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f']

# initializing the value of n
n = 4

# printing n elements from list
print(random.choices(list, k=n))

Logic Explanation:

Import the random module

In this step, we import the random module, which allows us to generate random numbers and make random selections.

Declare a list

Now we declare a list named list. It contains six elements: ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’, ‘d’, ‘e’, and ‘f’. This is the list from which we will randomly select elements.

Initialize the value of n

In this step, the variable n is initialized with the value 4. This variable represents the number of elements to be randomly selected from the list.

Print n elements from the list

In this step, the random.choices() function is called with two arguments: the list and k=n. The k parameter specifies the number of elements to be chosen randomly. The function randomly selects n elements from the list and returns them as a list.

Print the result

The result of the random.choices() function is printed using the print() function. It displays the randomly selected elements from the list.


['b', 'a', 'c', 'c']

When we run this code, we get a list of 4 randomly selected elements from the list. The output of this code will be different each time it is executed, because the choices() function selects elements randomly.

Here are a few alternative methods:

Using random.sample() function to randomly select unique elements from a list without replacement. It takes two arguments: the list and the number of elements to be selected. This method ensures that each selected element is unique in the resulting list.

Using list slicing and random.shuffle() to shuffle the list using the random.shuffle() function and then selecting the first n elements using list slicing.

Using a loop and random.choice() function a random element is selected using the random.choice() function.

We used the random.choices() method as it offers the flexibility of selecting elements from a list with replacement. It allows the same element to be selected multiple times in the resulting list. This can be useful in certain scenarios where you want the possibility of repeated elements.


In conclusion, the Python code provided demonstrates how to use the random.choices() function to randomly select element from a list. By importing the random module and declaring a list, we can generate a random selection of elements. The code allows us to specify the number of elements to be selected by initializing the variable n. With a single function call, random.choices(list, k=n), we obtain a list containing n randomly chosen elements from the original list. 

The code highlights the simplicity and effectiveness of the random.choices() function in generating random selections. This functionality can be applied in various scenarios, such as random sampling, shuffling data, or generating randomized outputs. By understanding and utilizing this code, you can incorporate randomization into your Python programs and enhance their versatility.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I select duplicate elements using random.choices()?

A: Yes, by default, random.choices() allows duplicate elements to be selected. If you want to disallow duplicates, you can use the random.sample() function instead.

Q: What happens if I choose more elements than the length of the list?

A: If you request more elements than the length of the list, random.choices() will select elements with replacement. This means that it may choose the same element multiple times to fulfill the required number of selections.

Q: How can I ensure unique selections when using random.choices()?

A: To ensure unique selections, you can use the random.sample() function instead. It selects unique elements from the list without replacement.

Q: Can I assign different probabilities to the elements in the list?

A: Yes, you can assign different probabilities to the elements in the list using the weights parameter of random.choices(). This allows you to control the likelihood of each element being selected.

Q: Is it possible to select elements from a list of different data types?

A: Yes, random.choices() can handle lists containing elements of different data types. It treats each element as an individual choice and randomly selects based on the specified conditions.

Q: Can I use random.choices() on an empty list?

A: No, if you pass an empty list to random.choices(), it will raise a IndexError because there are no elements to choose from.

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