# Python max, min Examples

Call the max and min built-in functions to search for the largest and smallest elements in lists.**Max, min.** In a list, we do not need to search for the largest or smallest element. Instead we use max and min. The maximum or minimum value is returned.

**Argument details.** With 2 arguments, max returns the larger of the two. And min returns the smaller. We can use max and min to compare two variables.

Built-ins**List example.** Max and min act on iterables. A list is a common iterable. We use max and min on a list with positive and negative integer elements.

List**Here:** Max returns the value 1000, which is larger than all other elements in the list. And min returns negative 100.

**Tip:** In all uses, max and min return a single value. If all elements are equal, that value is returned.

**Python program that uses max, min**
values = [1, -1, -2, 0]*
# Find the max and min elements.
*print(__max__(values))
print(__min__(values))
**Output**
1
-2

**Strings.** Consider the use of max and min on a list of strings. An alphabetic sort is used to test strings. The same comparison is used to sort a list.

**So:** The string that is sorted first is the min. And the string that comes last in sorting is the max.

**Python program that uses max, min on string list**
values = ["cat", "bird", "apple"]*
# Use max on the list of strings.
*result = __max__(values)
print(*"MAX"*, values, result)*
# Use min.
*result = __min__(values)
print(*"MIN"*, values, result)
**Output**
MAX ['cat', 'bird', 'apple'] cat
MIN ['cat', 'bird', 'apple'] apple

**Two arguments.** A program has two variables. One has a value larger than the other. We can determine the larger value by passing both variables to max.

**Java:** This use of max and min is similar to methods like Math.max in Java and Math.Max in C#.

**Python program that uses max, min with two arguments**
value1 = *100*
value2 = *-5**
# Call max with two arguments.
# ... The larger argument is returned.
*maximum = __max__(value1, value2)
print(*"MAX"*, maximum)*
# Call min with two arguments.
*minimum = __min__(value1, value2)
print(*"MIN"*, minimum)*
# If the arguments are equal, max and min return that value.
*print(*"MAX"*, __max__(0, 0))
print(*"MIN"*, __min__(0, 0))
**Output**
MAX 100
MIN -5
MAX 0
MIN 0

**A summary.** With max and min, we search iterables for the largest and smallest elements. We can use these built-in functions to compare 2 arguments and return the larger or smaller one.

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