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as (C# Reference)


Updated: July 20, 2015

For the latest documentation on Visual Studio 2017 RC, see Visual Studio 2017 RC Documentation.

You can use the as operator to perform certain types of conversions between compatible reference types or nullable types. The following code shows an example.

    class csrefKeywordsOperators
        class Base
            public override string  ToString()
 	             return "Base";
        class Derived : Base 
        { }

        class Program
            static void Main()

                Derived d = new Derived();

                Base b = d as Base;
                if (b != null)


The as operator is like a cast operation. However, if the conversion isn't possible, as returns null instead of raising an exception. Consider the following example:

expression as type  

The code is equivalent to the following expression except that the expression variable is evaluated only one time.

expression is type ? (type)expression : (type)null  

Note that the as operator performs only reference conversions, nullable conversions, and boxing conversions. The as operator can't perform other conversions, such as user-defined conversions, which should instead be performed by using cast expressions.

    class ClassA { }
    class ClassB { }

    class MainClass
        static void Main()
            object[] objArray = new object[6];
            objArray[0] = new ClassA();
            objArray[1] = new ClassB();
            objArray[2] = "hello";
            objArray[3] = 123;
            objArray[4] = 123.4;
            objArray[5] = null;

            for (int i = 0; i < objArray.Length; ++i)
                string s = objArray[i] as string;
                Console.Write("{0}:", i);
                if (s != null)
                    Console.WriteLine("'" + s + "'");
                    Console.WriteLine("not a string");
    0:not a string
    1:not a string
    3:not a string
    4:not a string
    5:not a string

For more information, see the C# Language Specification. The language specification is the definitive source for C# syntax and usage.

C# Reference
C# Programming Guide
C# Keywords
?: Operator
Operator Keywords

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