# How to compare and find common values from different columns in same dataframe?

I would like to compare two columns and find common value sets in each column, then output the rows with the common values.

Let's say I have a dataframe with:

no.(col1) | Username (col2) | Referral(col3) | email(col4)

0 | john | mike | [email protected]

1 | peter | paul | [email protected]

2 | joan | patricia | [email protected]

3 | mike | john | [email protected]


The output would be "0 | john | mike | [email protected]" and "3 | mike | john | [email protected]" because they have the same values in col2 and col3 respectively.

• But what you have in row0 and row3, ('john', 'mike') and ('john', 'milk') respectively? do you consider these two rows common value sets?
– user119783
Jun 25, 2021 at 14:51

## 2 Answers

let's consider we have a data frame named df, then one approach might be saving these two columns in different dataframes and then trying to compare them and find out their similarities, hence we would have:

column1 = df.iloc[:,1].values
column2 = df.iloc[:,2].values


Then, saving all the indices in column1 where the set exists in column2

equal_indices = []
for i in range(len(column1)):
for j in range(len(column2[or column1, since they are equal])):
if column1[i] == column2[j] and column2[i]==column1[j]:
equal_indices.append(i)
print(i,j)
print(column1[i], column2[i])


Now equal_indices contains all the indices you want. Then you can delete the rows with similar columns from column1 or column2. or just return the found indices of column1 from the dataframe df:

df.iloc[[equal_indices]]

• It worked nicely. Thank you! Jun 27, 2019 at 14:14
• I'm happy that it was helpful :) Jun 28, 2019 at 20:08

In Pandas, any problem can nearly always be solved with some elegant one-liner.

But a possible not-so-elegant approach would be as follows:

1. Reset index so that it becomes a column.

2. Create a dataframe (df_A) containing the index (name it index_A) and column of interest A.

3. Create a dataframe (df_B) containing the index (name it index_B) and column of interest B.

4. Perform a merge of df_A on A and of df_B on B (left merge, for instance).

The result should contain the shared values and the corresponding indexes.