Sort Words in Alphabetical Order in Python

(Last Updated On: 26/09/2023)

In this blog, we will sort words in alphabetical order in Python. We will also explain each step of the code, explaining the logic and operations involved. The program takes a sample text message as input and sorts the words within it in alphabetical order. 

By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of how to implement a Python program to sort words in alphabetical order, specifically using the concept of lists, string manipulation, and built-in functions.

Python Program to Sort Words in Alphabetical Order

# Python Program to Sort Words in Alphabetical Order

# Sample text message for sorting
input_text = "This is a sample string which we will use for sorting"

# You can also take input string from the user
#input_text = input("Enter a string: ")

# STEP 1: convert string to list
input_text_list = input_text.split()

# STEP 2: convert list words to lowercase
input_text_list_lower = list(map(str.lower,input_text_list))

# alternatively you can merge STEP 1 and STEP 2 using single statement
# input_text_list_lower = [element.lower() for element in input_text.split()]

# STEP 3: Sort the list

print("The sorted words list is:", input_text_list_lower)

seperator = " "
input_text_sorted = seperator.join(input_text_list_lower)
print("Sorted Statement: ", input_text_sorted)

Program Code Explanation

  • Converting the string to a list

First, we split the string into a list of words using the split() function. Each word becomes an element in the list.

  • Converting list words to lowercase

To ensure case-insensitive sorting, we convert all the words in the list to lowercase. We use the map() function along with str.lower as the mapping function to apply the lowercase conversion to each word in the list. The resulting list is assigned to input_text_list_lower.

  • Sorting the list and printing it

In this step, we sort the input_text_list_lower list in alphabetical order using the sort() method. This rearranges the words in the list in ascending alphabetical order. We then print the sorted list using the print() function, displaying the words in alphabetical order.

  • Joining the sorted words to form a string

To obtain the sorted statement, we join the sorted words using a space as the separator. This is done using the join() method, where we pass input_text_list_lower as the argument and assign the result to input_text_sorted.

  • Printing the sorted statement

Lastly, we print the sorted statement using the print() function, displaying the words from the input text in alphabetical order.


The output of the code is the sorted list of words and the sorted statement. The sorted list of words is a list of lowercase words arranged in alphabetical order.

The sorted words list is: ['a', 'for', 'is', 'sample', 'sorting', 'string', 'this', 'use', 'we', 'which', 'will']
Sorted Statement:  a for is sample sorting string this use we which will

In this example, the input text provided is “This is a sample string which we will use for sorting“. The program splits the text into individual words, converts them to lowercase, sorts them in alphabetical order, and then prints the sorted words list and the sorted statement. The sorted words list displays the words in alphabetical order: “a for is sample sorting string this use we which will“.

Multiple Ways of Sorting Words in Alphabetical Order in Python

There are multiple ways of sorting words in alphabetical order in Python are:

  • Using the sorted() function: It returns a new sorted list without modifying the original list. This method is useful if you want to preserve the original order of the words while obtaining the sorted list.
  • Using a lambda function: You can use a lambda function as the key argument in the sort() method or sorted() function to define a custom sorting order. This method allows you to sort the words based on criteria other than alphabetical order, such as word length or a specific pattern.
  • Using the operator module: It provides various functions for performing operations on data types. You can use the itemgetter() function from the operator module to specify the sorting key. It is useful when you want to sort words based on a specific attribute, such as the second character or the last character.

However, the method explained above is straightforward and easy to understand. It follows a step-by-step approach, making it more readable for beginners. The sort() method is an in-place sorting algorithm, meaning it modifies the original list and can be more memory-efficient for larger lists. It is widely used and recognized by other Python developers, making it easier for others to understand and maintain your code.

In this tutorial, the Python code provides a simple and effective solution for sorting words in alphabetical order. By following the step-by-step logic, we were able to convert a string into a list of words, convert the words to lowercase for case-insensitive sorting, sort the list in alphabetical order, and then join the sorted words back into a string. The code demonstrates the power and flexibility of Python’s built-in functions and methods, making it easy to manipulate and sort data.

Sorting words alphabetically can be useful in various applications, such as organizing text data, creating word dictionaries, or extracting keywords. The code serves as a practical example of how to approach such a task, highlighting the importance of breaking down the problem into smaller steps and using appropriate functions to achieve the desired outcome.

FAQs Based on Sorting Words in Alphabetical Order

Can I sort words in a different language using this code?

Yes, the code can sort words in any language. The alphabetical order will be based on the language’s specific character set.

What if the input text has leading or trailing spaces?

The code will consider leading and trailing spaces as part of the words. For example, ” Hello ” and “Hello” will be treated as different words and sorted accordingly.

Is the sorting case-sensitive by default?

No, the sorting is case-insensitive due to the conversion of words to lowercase. If you want case-sensitive sorting, remove the step that converts the words to lowercase.

Why do we convert the words to lowercase?

By converting all the words to lowercase, we ensure case-insensitive sorting. Without this step, words starting with uppercase letters would appear before words starting with lowercase letters.

How does the join() method work in this code?

The join() method concatenates the elements of a list into a single string. In this code, it takes the sorted list of words and joins them using a space as the separator, resulting in a sorted statement.

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