Home > Store

C# Programming Language (Covering C# 4.0), The, 4th Edition

Register your product to gain access to bonus material or receive a coupon.

C# Programming Language (Covering C# 4.0), The, 4th Edition

eBook (Watermarked)

  • Your Price: $31.99
  • List Price: $39.99
  • Includes EPUB and PDF
  • About eBook Formats
  • This eBook includes the following formats, accessible from your Account page after purchase:

    ePub EPUB The open industry format known for its reflowable content and usability on supported mobile devices.

    Adobe Reader PDF The popular standard, used most often with the free Adobe® Reader® software.

    This eBook requires no passwords or activation to read. We customize your eBook by discreetly watermarking it with your name, making it uniquely yours.


  • Copyright 2011
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 4th
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-315702-4
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-315702-4

“Based on my own experience, I can safely say that every .NET developer who reads this will have at least one ‘aha’ moment and will be a better developer for it.”

–From the Foreword by Don Box 

The popular C# programming language combines the high productivity of rapid application development languages with the raw power of C and C++. Updated to cover the new features of C# 4.0, including dynamic binding, named and optional parameters, and covariant and contravariant generic types, this release takes the language to the next level by adding the ability to cleanly write programs that don’t rely on static type definitions. This allows dynamic programming languages such as Python, Ruby, and JavaScript to feel native to C#. The C# Programming Language, Fourth Edition, continues to be the authoritative and annotated technical reference for C# 4.0.

Written by Anders Hejlsberg, the language’s architect, and his colleagues, Mads Torgersen, Scott Wiltamuth, and Peter Golde, this volume has been completely updated for C# 4.0. The book provides the complete specification of the language, along with descriptions, reference materials, code samples, and annotations from twelve prominent C# gurus.

The many annotations bring a depth and breadth of understanding rarely found in any programming book. As the main text of the book introduces the concepts of the C# language, cogent annotations explain why they are important, how they are used, how they relate to other languages, and even how they evolved.

This book is the definitive, must-have reference for any developer who wants to understand C#. With annotations from: Brad Abrams, Joseph Albahari, Krzysztof Cwalina, Jesse Liberty, Eric Lippert, Christian Nagel, Vladimir Reshetnikov, Marek Safar, Chris Sells, Peter Sestoft, Jon Skeet, and Bill Wagner.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Preface xiii

About the Authors xv

About the Annotators xvii

Chapter 1: Introduction 1

1.1 Hello, World 3

1.2 Program Structure 4

1.3 Types and Variables 6

1.4 Expressions 13

1.5 Statements 16

1.6 Classes and Objects 21

1.7 Structs 50

1.8 Arrays 53

1.9 Interfaces 56

1.10 Enums 58

1.11 Delegates 60

1.12 Attributes 61

Chapter 2: Lexical Structure 65

2.1 Programs 65

2.2 Grammars 65

2.3 Lexical Analysis 67

2.4 Tokens 71

2.5 Preprocessing Directives 85

Chapter 3: Basic Concepts 99

3.1 Application Start-up 99

3.2 Application Termination 100

3.3 Declarations 101

3.4 Members 105

3.5 Member Access 107

3.6 Signatures and Overloading 117

3.7 Scopes 120

3.8 Namespace and Type Names 127

3.9 Automatic Memory Management 132

3.10 Execution Order 137

Chapter 4: Types 139

4.1 Value Types 140

4.2 Reference Types 152

4.3 Boxing and Unboxing 155

4.4 Constructed Types 160

4.5 Type Parameters 164

4.6 Expression Tree Types 165

4.7 The dynamic Type 166

Chapter 5: Variables 169

5.1 Variable Categories 169

5.2 Default Values 175

5.3 Definite Assignment 176

5.4 Variable References 192

5.5 Atomicity of Variable References 193

Chapter 6: Conversions 195

6.1 Implicit Conversions 196

6.2 Explicit Conversions 204

6.3 Standard Conversions 213

6.4 User-Defined Conversions 214

6.5 Anonymous Function Conversions 219

6.6 Method Group Conversions 226

Chapter 7: Expressions 231

7.1 Expression Classifications 231

7.2 Static and Dynamic Binding 234

7.3 Operators 238

7.4 Member Lookup 247

7.5 Function Members 250

7.6 Primary Expressions 278

7.7 Unary Operators 326

7.8 Arithmetic Operators 331

7.9 Shift Operators 343

7.10 Relational and Type-Testing Operators 344

7.11 Logical Operators 355

7.12 Conditional Logical Operators 358

7.13 The Null Coalescing Operator 360

7.14 Conditional Operator 361

7.15 Anonymous Function Expressions 364

7.16 Query Expressions 373

7.17 Assignment Operators 389

7.18 Expression 395

7.19 Constant Expressions 395

7.20 Boolean Expressions 397

Chapter 8: Statements 399

8.1 End Points and Reachability 400

8.2 Blocks 402

8.3 The Empty Statement 404

8.4 Labeled Statements 406

8.5 Declaration Statements 407

8.6 Expression Statements 412

8.7 Selection Statements 413

8.8 Iteration Statements 420

8.9 Jump Statements 429

8.10 The try Statement 438

8.11 The checked and unchecked Statements 443

8.12 The lock Statement 443

8.13 The using Statement 445

8.14 The yield Statement 449

Chapter 9: Namespaces 453

9.1 Compilation Units 453

9.2 Namespace Declarations 454

9.3 Extern Aliases 456

9.4 Using Directives 457

9.5 Namespace Members 463

9.6 Type Declarations 464

9.7 Namespace Alias Qualifiers 464

Chapter 10: Classes 467

10.1 Class Declarations 467

10.2 Partial Types 481

10.3 Class Members 490

10.4 Constants 506

10.5 Fields 509

10.6 Methods 520

10.7 Properties 545

10.8 Events 559

10.9 Indexers 566

10.10 Operators 571

10.11 Instance Constructors 579

10.12 Static Constructors 586

10.13 Destructors 589

10.14 Iterators 592

Chapter 11: Structs 607

11.1 Struct Declarations 608

11.2 Struct Members 609

11.3 Class and Struct Differences 610

11.4 Struct Examples 619

Chapter 12: Arrays 625

12.1 Array Types 625

12.2 Array Creation 628

12.3 Array Element Access 628

12.4 Array Members 628

12.5 Array Covariance 629

12.6 Array Initializers 630

Chapter 13: Interfaces 633

13.1 Interface Declarations 633

13.2 Interface Members 639

13.3 Fully Qualified Interface Member Names 645

13.4 Interface Implementations 645

Chapter 14: Enums 663

14.1 Enum Declarations 663

14.2 Enum Modifiers 664

14.3 Enum Members 665

14.4 The System.Enum Type 668

14.5 Enum Values and Operations 668

Chapter 15: Delegates 671

15.1 Delegate Declarations 672

15.2 Delegate Compatibility 676

15.3 Delegate Instantiation 676

15.4 Delegate Invocation 677

Chapter 16: Exceptions 681

16.1 Causes of Exceptions 683

16.2 The System.Exception Class 683

16.3 How Exceptions Are Handled 684

16.4 Common Exception Classes 685

Chapter 17: Attributes 687

17.1 Attribute Classes 688

17.2 Attribute Specification 692

17.3 Attribute Instances 698

17.4 Reserved Attributes 699

17.5 Attributes for Interoperation 707

Chapter 18: Unsafe Code 709

18.1 Unsafe Contexts 710

18.2 Pointer Types 713

18.3 Fixed and Moveable Variables 716

18.4 Pointer Conversions 717

18.5 Pointers in Expressions 720

18.6 The fixed Statement 728

18.7 Fixed-Size Buffers 733

18.8 Stack Allocation 736

18.9 Dynamic Memory Allocation 738

Appendix A: Documentation Comments 741

A.1 Introduction 741

A.2 Recommended Tags 743

A.3 Processing the Documentation File 754

A.4 An Example 760

Appendix B: Grammar 767

B.1 Lexical Grammar 767

B.2 Syntactic Grammar 777

B.3 Grammar Extensions for Unsafe Code 809

Appendix C: References 813

Index 815


Submit Errata

More Information

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020