# Single Structure

**Visual Studio 2008**

Represents a single-precision floating-point number.

**Namespace:**System

**Assembly:**mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

The Single value type represents a single-precision 32-bit number with values ranging from negative 3.402823e38 to positive 3.402823e38, as well as positive or negative zero, PositiveInfinity, NegativeInfinity, and not a number (NaN).

Single complies with the IEC 60559:1989 (IEEE 754) standard for binary floating-point arithmetic.

Single provides methods to compare instances of this type, convert the value of an instance to its string representation, and convert the string representation of a number to an instance of this type. For information about how format specification codes control the string representation of value types, see Formatting Overview, Standard Numeric Format Strings, and Custom Numeric Format Strings.

### Using Floating-Point Numbers

When performing binary operations, if one of the operands is a floating-point type, Single or Double, then the other operand is required to be an integral type or a floating-point type. The operation is evaluated as follows:

If one of the operands is of an integral type, then that operand is converted to the floating-point type of the other operand.

Then, if either of the operands is Double, the other operand is converted to Double, and the operation is performed using at least the range and precision of the Double. For numeric operations, the type of the result is Double.

Otherwise, the operation is performed using at least the range and precision of the Single type and, for numeric operations, the type of the result is Single.

The floating-point operators, including the assignment operators, do not throw exceptions. Instead, in exceptional situations the result of a floating-point operation is zero, infinity, or NaN, as described below:

If the result of a floating-point operation is too small for the destination format, the result of the operation is zero.

If the magnitude of the result of a floating-point operation is too large for the destination format, the result of the operation is PositiveInfinity or NegativeInfinity, as appropriate for the sign of the result.

If a floating-point operation is invalid, the result of the operation is NaN.

If one or both operands of a floating-point operation are NaN, the result of the operation is NaN.

### Floating-Point Values and Loss of Precision

Remember that a floating-point number can only approximate a decimal number, and that the precision of a floating-point number determines how accurately that number approximates a decimal number. By default, a Single value contains only 7 decimal digits of precision, although a maximum of 9 digits is maintained internally. The precision of a floating-point number has several consequences:

Two floating-point numbers that appear equal for a particular precision might not compare equal because their least significant digits are different.

A mathematical or comparison operation that uses a floating-point number might not yield the same result if a decimal number is used because the floating-point number might not exactly approximate the decimal number.

A value might not roundtrip if a floating-point number is involved. A value is said to roundtrip if an operation converts an original floating-point number to another form, an inverse operation transforms the converted form back to a floating-point number, and the final floating-point number is equal to the original floating-point number. The roundtrip might fail because one or more least significant digits are lost or changed in a conversion.

### Interface Implementations

This type implements the interfaces IComparable, IComparable<T>, IFormattable, and IConvertible. Use the Convert class for conversions instead of this type's explicit interface member implementation of IConvertible.

All members of this type are thread safe. Members that appear to modify instance state actually return a new instance initialized with the new value. As with any other type, reading and writing to a shared variable that contains an instance of this type must be protected by a lock to guarantee thread safety.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.