Getting the type of an object in .NET C#

You’ll probably know that every object in C# ultimately derives from the Object base class. The Object class has a GetType() method which returns the Type of an object.

Say you have the following class hierarchy:

public class Vehicle
{
}

public class Car : Vehicle
{
}

public class Truck : Vehicle
{
}

Then declare the following instances all as Vehicle objects:

Vehicle vehicle = new Vehicle();
Vehicle car = new Car();
Vehicle truck = new Truck();

Let’s output the type names of these objects:

Examining type of derived objects

So ‘car’ and ‘truck’ are not of type Vehicle. An object can only have a single type even if it can be cast to a base type, i.e. a base class or an interface. You can still easily get to the Type from which a given object is derived:

Type truckBase = truckType.BaseType;
Console.WriteLine("Truck base: {0}", truckBase.Name);

…which of course returns ‘Vehicle’.

View all posts on Reflection here.

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About Andras Nemes
I'm a .NET/Java developer living and working in Stockholm, Sweden.

One Response to Getting the type of an object in .NET C#

  1. Stefan Ossendorf says:

    Hi Andras,
    maybe you should point out the static and dynamic type of an object?
    The dynamic type is Car or Truck. But the static type is indeed Vehicle.

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