Constant Member Functions

Declaring a member function with the const keyword specifies that the function is a "read-only" function that does not modify the object for which it is called.

To declare a constant member function, place the const keyword after the closing parenthesis of the argument list. The const keyword is required in both the declaration and the definition. A constant member function cannot modify any data members or call any member functions that aren't constant.

// constant_member_function.cpp
class Date
   Date( int mn, int dy, int yr );
   int getMonth() const;     // A read-only function
   void setMonth( int mn );   // A write function; can't be const
   int month;

int Date::getMonth() const
   return month;        // Doesn't modify anything
void Date::setMonth( int mn )
   month = mn;          // Modifies data member
int main()
   Date MyDate( 7, 4, 1998 );
   const Date BirthDate( 1, 18, 1953 );
   MyDate.setMonth( 4 );    // Okay
   BirthDate.getMonth();    // Okay
   BirthDate.setMonth( 4 ); // C2662 Error

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