# get_earliest

Python Morsels Exercise

Return the earliest MM/DD/YYYY date string given

1 bonuses 8 hints 10 solutions 973 solved 75 reviews

This exercise is a somewhat silly one. I'd like you to compare the date strings, but allow invalid dates while comparing them.

I want you to write a function that takes two strings representing dates and returns the string that represents the earliest point in time. The strings are in the US-specific `MM/DD/YYYY` format... just to make things harder. Note that the month, year, and day will always be represented by 2, 4, and 2 digits respectively.

Your function should work like this:

``````>>> get_earliest("01/27/1832", "01/27/1756")
'01/27/1756'
>>> get_earliest("02/29/1972", "12/21/1946")
'12/21/1946'
>>> get_earliest("02/24/1946", "03/21/1946")
'02/24/1946'
>>> get_earliest("06/21/1958", "06/24/1958")
'06/21/1958'
``````

There's a catch though. Your exercise should work with invalid month and date combinations. What I mean by that is that dates like 02/40/2006 should be supported. By that I mean 02/40/2006 is before 03/01/2006 but after 02/30/2006 (dates don't roll over at all). I'm adding this strangely arbitrary requirement just so you can't rely on Python's `datetime` module.

There are many ways to solve this. See if you can figure out the clearest and most idiomatic way to solve this exercise.

Bonus 1

This is just a preview of the problem statement.

This exercise includes 1 bonus and 8 hint links.