bodacydo bodacydo - 2 years ago 207
Python Question

How to look ahead one element in a Python generator?

I can't figure out how to look ahead one element in a Python generator. As soon as I look it's gone.

Here is what I mean:

gen = iter([1,2,3])
next_value = # okay, I looked forward and see that next_value = 1
# but now:
list(gen) # is [2, 3] -- the first value is gone!

Here is a more real example:

gen = element_generator()
if gen.next_value() == 'STOP':

Can anyone help me write a generator that you can look one element forward?

Thanks, Boda Cydo.

Answer Source

The Python generator API is one way: You can't push back elements you've read. But you can create a new iterator using the itertools module and prepend the element:

import itertools

gen = iter([1,2,3])
peek =
print list(itertools.chain([peek], gen))
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