C# Language base


Example

The base keyword is used to access members from a base class. It is commonly used to call base implementations of virtual methods, or to specify which base constructor should be called.

Choosing a constructor

public class Child : SomeBaseClass {
    public Child() : base("some string for the base class")
    {
    }
}

public class SomeBaseClass {
    public SomeBaseClass()
    {
        // new Child() will not call this constructor, as it does not have a parameter
    }
    public SomeBaseClass(string message)
    {
        // new Child() will use this base constructor because of the specified parameter in Child's constructor
        Console.WriteLine(message);
    }
}

Calling base implementation of virtual method

public override void SomeVirtualMethod() {
    // Do something, then call base implementation
    base.SomeVirtualMethod();
}

It is possible to use the base keyword to call a base implementation from any method. This ties the method call directly to the base implementation, which means that even if new child classes override a virtual method, the base implementation will still be called so this needs to be used with caution.

public class Parent
{
    public virtual int VirtualMethod()
    {
        return 1;
    }
}

public class Child : Parent
{
    public override int VirtualMethod() {
        return 11;
    }

    public int NormalMethod()
    {
        return base.VirtualMethod();
    }

    public void CallMethods()
    {
        Assert.AreEqual(11, VirtualMethod());

        Assert.AreEqual(1, NormalMethod());
        Assert.AreEqual(1, base.VirtualMethod());
    }
}

public class GrandChild : Child
{
    public override int VirtualMethod()
    {
        return 21;
    }

    public void CallAgain()
    {
        Assert.AreEqual(21, VirtualMethod());
        Assert.AreEqual(11, base.VirtualMethod());

        // Notice that the call to NormalMethod below still returns the value
        // from the extreme base class even though the method has been overridden
        // in the child class.
        Assert.AreEqual(1, NormalMethod());
    }
}