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Type.GenericParameterAttributes Property

[ This article is for Windows Phone 8 developers. If you’re developing for Windows 10, see the latest documentation. ]

Gets a combination of GenericParameterAttributes flags that describe the covariance and special constraints of the current generic type parameter.

Namespace:  System
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public virtual GenericParameterAttributes GenericParameterAttributes { get; }

Property Value

Type: System.Reflection.GenericParameterAttributes
A bitwise combination of GenericParameterAttributes values that describes the covariance and special constraints of the current generic type parameter.


The current Type object is not a generic type parameter. That is, the IsGenericParameter property returns false.


The invoked method is not supported in the base class.

The value of this property contains flags that describe whether the current generic type parameter is covariant, and flags that describe any special constraints. Use the GenericParameterAttributes.VarianceMask value to select the covariance flags, and use the GenericParameterAttributes.SpecialConstraintMask value to select the constraint flags.

For a list of the invariant conditions for terms used in generic reflection, see the IsGenericType property remarks.

The following code example defines a generic type Test with two type parameters that have different constraints. When the program executes, the constraints are examined using the GenericParameterAttributes property and the GetGenericParameterConstraints method.

using System;
using System.Reflection;

// Define a sample interface to use as an interface constraint.
public interface ITest { }

// Define a base type to use as a base class constraint.
public class Base { }

// Define the generic type to examine. The first generic type parameter,
// T, derives from the class Base and implements ITest. This demonstrates
// a base class constraint and an interface constraint. The second generic 
// type parameter, U, must be a reference type (class) and must have a 
// default constructor (new()). This demonstrates special constraints.
public class Test<T, U>
   where T : Base, ITest
   where U : class, new() { }

// Define a type that derives from Base and implements ITest. This type
// satisfies the constraints on T in class Test.
public class Derived : Base, ITest { }

public class Example
   public static void Demo(System.Windows.Controls.TextBlock outputBlock)
      // To get the generic type definition, omit the type
      // arguments but retain the comma to indicate the number
      // of type arguments. 
      Type def = typeof(Test<,>);
      outputBlock.Text += String.Format("\r\nExamining generic type {0}", def) + "\n";

      // Get the type parameters of the generic type definition,
      // and display them.
      Type[] defparams = def.GetGenericArguments();
      foreach (Type tp in defparams)
         outputBlock.Text += String.Format("\r\nType parameter: {0}", tp.Name) + "\n";
         outputBlock.Text += String.Format("\t{0}",
             ListGenericParameterAttributes(tp)) + "\n";

         // List the base class and interface constraints. The
         // constraints are returned in no particular order. If 
         // there are no class or interface constraints, an empty
         // array is returned.
         Type[] tpConstraints = tp.GetGenericParameterConstraints();
         foreach (Type tpc in tpConstraints)
            outputBlock.Text += String.Format("\t{0}", tpc) + "\n";

   // List the variance and special constraint flags. 
   private static string ListGenericParameterAttributes(Type t)
      string retval;
      GenericParameterAttributes gpa = t.GenericParameterAttributes;
      GenericParameterAttributes variance = gpa &

      // Select the variance flags.
      if (variance == GenericParameterAttributes.None)
         retval = "No variance flag;";
         if ((variance & GenericParameterAttributes.Covariant) != 0)
            retval = "Covariant;";
            retval = "Contravariant;";

      // Select 
      GenericParameterAttributes constraints = gpa &

      if (constraints == GenericParameterAttributes.None)
         retval += " No special constraints";
         if ((constraints & GenericParameterAttributes.ReferenceTypeConstraint) != 0)
            retval += " ReferenceTypeConstraint";
         if ((constraints & GenericParameterAttributes.NotNullableValueTypeConstraint) != 0)
            retval += " NotNullableValueTypeConstraint";
         if ((constraints & GenericParameterAttributes.DefaultConstructorConstraint) != 0)
            retval += " DefaultConstructorConstraint";

      return retval;
/* This example produces the following output:

Examining generic type Test`2[T,U]

Type parameter: T
        No variance flag; no special constraints.

Type parameter: U
        No variance flag; ReferenceTypeConstraint DefaultConstructorConstraint

Windows Phone OS

Supported in: 8.1, 8.0, 7.1, 7.0

Windows Phone