TypeError: type object is not subscriptable

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

I was recently working on our last blog post how to reverse a string in python and I came across this error.

The thought passed me what does it mean and how can I fix it?

So what does the error actually mean?

Essentially it means that , you are trying to access an object type, that has a property of “type”.

What are typical property of types? Well they can be:

  • int()
  • str()
  • tuple()
  • dict()

The above allows you to change your data to these data types, so the data contained within them can be further manipulated.

In essence you are trying to call type in the wrong way and in the wrong place in your code.

By calling it , it will throw this error, and they should be avoided, as they are a built in function.

Lets take an example of how we can replicate this error and fix it

name1 = "joe" # These have index values of [0,1,2]
emptylist =[]
strlength = len(name1) # Returns length of three
while strlength > 0:
    emptylist += str[strlength - 1] #This is the last index value of the variable "name1"
    strlength = strlength - 1
print(emptylist)

In the above code all appears well, but in line 5 the “str” before the [ is the problem. The code automatically looks to call this function.

The simple answer to fixing this is to rename it to name1 as follows:

name1 = "joe" # These have index values of [0,1,2]
emptylist =[]
strlength = len(name1) # Returns length of three
while strlength > 0:
    emptylist += name1[strlength - 1] #This is the last index value of the variable "name1"
    strlength = strlength - 1
print(emptylist)

which gives you the following error free output:

Result with no error: ['e', 'o', 'j']

In summary and what not to do

So it is clear that referencing types as a string variable should be avoided, and keep your code clean from this perspective.

This would also apply to any reserved words in Python as well.

Have you seen type error list object is not an iterator?

Also you may have come across type error float object is not callable