const (C# Reference)

You use the const keyword to declare a constant field or a constant local. Constant fields and locals aren't variables and may not be modified. Constants can be numbers, Boolean values, strings, or a null reference. Don’t create a constant to represent information that you expect to change at any time. For example, don’t use a constant field to store the price of a service, a product version number, or the brand name of a company. These values can change over time, and because compilers propagate constants, other code compiled with your libraries will have to be recompiled to see the changes. See also the readonly keyword. For example:

      const int x = 0;  
public const double gravitationalConstant = 6.673e-11;  
private const string productName = "Visual C#";  


The type of a constant declaration specifies the type of the members that the declaration introduces. The initializer of a constant local or a constant field must be a constant expression that can be implicitly converted to the target type.

A constant expression is an expression that can be fully evaluated at compile time. Therefore, the only possible values for constants of reference types are string and a null reference.

The constant declaration can declare multiple constants, such as:

public const double x = 1.0, y = 2.0, z = 3.0;  

The static modifier is not allowed in a constant declaration.

A constant can participate in a constant expression, as follows:

public const int c1 = 5;  
public const int c2 = c1 + 100;  

The readonly keyword differs from the const keyword. A const field can only be initialized at the declaration of the field. A readonly field can be initialized either at the declaration or in a constructor. Therefore, readonly fields can have different values depending on the constructor used. Also, although a const field is a compile-time constant, the readonly field can be used for run-time constants, as in this line: public static readonly uint l1 = (uint)DateTime.Now.Ticks;


public class ConstTest 
    class SampleClass 
        public int x;
        public int y;
        public const int c1 = 5;
        public const int c2 = c1 + 5;

        public SampleClass(int p1, int p2) 
            x = p1; 
            y = p2;

    static void Main() 
        SampleClass mC = new SampleClass(11, 22);   
        Console.WriteLine("x = {0}, y = {1}", mC.x, mC.y);
        Console.WriteLine("c1 = {0}, c2 = {1}", 
                          SampleClass.c1, SampleClass.c2 );
/* Output
    x = 11, y = 22
    c1 = 5, c2 = 10


This example demonstrates how to use constants as local variables.

public class SealedTest
    static void Main()
        const int c = 707;
        Console.WriteLine("My local constant = {0}", c);
// Output: My local constant = 707

C# Language Specification

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

See Also

C# Reference
C# Programming Guide
C# Keywords