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What is the use of the "copy.copy" function in Python?

In Python, the copy.copy() function is used to create a shallow copy of an object. It returns a new object that is a copy of the original object, but with shared references to the nested objects. The copy() function is part of the copy module and can be used to create shallow copies of various objects, including dictionaries.

Here are a few use cases and characteristics of the copy.copy() function:

Shallow Copy: The copy.copy() function creates a shallow copy, which means that the top-level object is duplicated, but the internal objects are not. Instead, they are referenced from both the original and copied objects.

Shared References: If you modify a nested object in either the original or the copied object, the change will be reflected in both. This is because the nested objects are shared between the original and the copy.

Copying Dictionaries: The copy.copy() function can be used to create a shallow copy of a dictionary. It copies the dictionary object itself but not the keys or values within it.

Here's an example to illustrate the usage of copy.copy() with a dictionary:

import copy

original_dict = {'name': 'John', 'age': 30, 'city': 'New York'}

# Create a shallow copy of the dictionary using copy.copy()
shallow_copy = copy.copy(original_dict)

# Modify the original dictionary
original_dict['age'] = 31

print(original_dict)    # Output: {'name': 'John', 'age': 31, 'city': 'New York'}
print(shallow_copy)     # Output: {'name': 'John', 'age': 31, 'city': 'New York'}

In this example, modifying the 'age' key in the original dictionary also affects the shallow copy because they share the same references.

The copy.copy() function is useful when you need to create a new object that is a duplicate of the original object, but with shared references to nested objects. It can be used to create a shallow copy of various objects, such as lists, dictionaries, or custom objects.

It's important to note that if you have nested objects that you want to duplicate completely, including all levels, you should use the copy.deepcopy() function instead of copy.copy().

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