Get Sublist of a List in Java

In this post, we will see get how to get sublist of a list between two specified indexes.


1. Naive solution

Naive solution would be to add elements from the original list that are present between the specified indexes to the sublist.


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2. List.sublist()

We can also use sublist() method provided by the List interface that returns a “view” of the portion of the list between the specified indexes.


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2.1. java.lang.IndexOutOfBoundsException

The subList() method throws IndexOutOfBoundsException if starting or ending index is illegal. For instance,

  • start < 0
  • end > list.size()
  • start > end

To avoid IndexOutOfBoundsException from happening, we can check if indexes are within proper bounds before passing to sublist() as shown below:


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2.2. ConcurrentModificationException

Since the list returned by list.subList() is backed by the list, any non-structural changes (that does not change the size of the list) in the sublist are reflected in the original list and vice-versa. If the backing list is structurally modified in any way, the behavior of the list is undefined and ConcurrentModificationException may be thrown.


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Exception in thread “main” java.util.ConcurrentModificationException
at java.util.ArrayList$SubList.checkForComodification(
at java.util.ArrayList$SubList.listIterator(
at java.util.AbstractList.listIterator(
at java.util.ArrayList$SubList.iterator(
at java.util.AbstractCollection.toString(
at java.lang.String.valueOf(
at java.lang.StringBuilder.append(
at ListUtil.main(

The solution to this problem is to create a new List from the returned view by subList() as shown below:


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References: List Javadoc SE 8

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