Python: Substrings and Strings

December 09, 2020

Stuttering Function. Write a function that stutters a word as if someone is struggling to read it. The first two letters are repeated twice with an ellipsis ... and space after each, and then the word is pronounced with a question mark ?. stutter("incredible") ➞ "in... in... incredible?". Notes Assume all input is in lower case and at least two characters long.

So how did I go about solving this problem?

I first started by pseudocoding my steps on what I needed to do:

  1. # Trim first two letters of word "stut"
  2. # loop 2x + elipses
  3. # combine the stut with the word, and a question mark. 
  4. # stutter("outstanding") ➞ "ou... ou... outstanding?"

I knew of a few directions I could go about solving this, but I wasn't positive on what these methods were in Python 3, so I went to Google to search for some answers.

My first hunch was to use .strip() , so I searched "Python strip string". No.. this is helpful for removing whitespace (something I believe is worth it if we are truly accepting user input, but not a requirement for this challenge).

So next I thought of .substring() which made sense, because I just need a subset of the string. The syntax for this is pretty easy to remember in Python, simply use square brackets with where you want to start and stop the substring. word[0:2]

Lastly, I needed to format this. I could assume that this method will always return the same format of string, so I decided to keep that in place, and just grab what's from the argument to return with the string. I had originally thought of using a loop (as mentioned above in my psuedocode), but I later reconsidered.


def stutter(word):
    stut = word[0:2]
    return_string = "{0}... {0}... {1}?".format(stut, word)
    return return_string

This could be refactored to not really needing the return_string

def stutter(word):
    stut = word[0:2]
    return "{0}... {0}... {1}?".format(stut, word)

Like… do we even need any variables to hold the stut? Nope!

def stutter(word):
    return "{0}... {0}... {1}?".format(word[0:2], word)