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The short keyword denotes an integral data type that stores values according to the size and range shown in the following table.

Type Range Size .NET Framework type
short -32,768 to 32,767 Signed 16-bit integer System.Int16


You can declare and initialize a short variable like this example:

short x = 32767;

In the preceding declaration, the integer literal 32767 is implicitly converted from int to short. If the integer literal does not fit into a short storage location, a compilation error will occur.

A cast must be used when calling overloaded methods. Consider, for example, the following overloaded methods that use short and int parameters:

public static void MyMethod(int i) {}
public static void MyMethod(short s) {}

Using the short cast guarantees that the correct type is called, for example:

MyMethod(5);         // Calling the method with the int parameter
MyMethod((short)5);  // Calling the method with the short parameter


There is a predefined implicit conversion from short to int, long, float, double, or decimal.

You cannot implicitly convert nonliteral numeric types of larger storage size to short (see Integral Types Table for the storage sizes of integral types). Consider, for example, the following two short variables x and y:

short x = 5, y = 12;

The following assignment statement will produce a compilation error, because the arithmetic expression on the right-hand side of the assignment operator evaluates to int by default.

short z = x + y;   // Error: no conversion from int to short

To fix this problem, use a cast:

short z = (short)(x + y);   // OK: explicit conversion

It is possible though to use the following statements, where the destination variable has the same storage size or a larger storage size:

int m = x + y;
long n = x + y;

There is no implicit conversion from floating-point types to short. For example, the following statement generates a compiler error unless an explicit cast is used:

short x = 3.0;          // Error: no implicit conversion from double
short y = (short)3.0;   // OK: explicit conversion

For information on arithmetic expressions with mixed floating-point types and integral types, see float and double.

For more information on implicit numeric conversion rules, see the Implicit Numeric Conversions Table.

See Also

C# Keywords | Integral Types Table | Built-in Types Table | Implicit Numeric Conversions Table | Explicit Numeric Conversions Table | Int16 Structure