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10.5.8 Method body

Visual Studio .NET 2003

The method-body of a method declaration consists of either a block or a semicolon.

Abstract and external method declarations do not provide a method implementation, so their method bodies simply consist of a semicolon. For any other method, the method body is a block (Section 8.2) that contains the statements to execute when that method is invoked.

When the return type of a method is void, return statements (Section 8.9.4) in that method's body are not permitted to specify an expression. If execution of the method body of a void method completes normally (that is, control flows off the end of the method body), that method simply returns to its caller.

When the return type of a method is not void, each return statement in that method's body must specify an expression of a type that is implicitly convertible to the return type. The endpoint of the method body of a value-returning method must not be reachable. In other words, in a value-returning method, control is not permitted to flow off the end of the method body.

In the example

class A
   public int F() {}         // Error, return value required
   public int G() {
      return 1;
   public int H(bool b) {
      if (b) {
         return 1;
      else {
         return 0;

the value-returning F method results in a compile-time error because control can flow off the end of the method body. The G and H methods are correct because all possible execution paths end in a return statement that specifies a return value.