Unary Operators in C Sharp

by Dinesh 2012-07-22 20:35:34

Unary Operators in C#

Unary Operator is an operator that takes a single operand in an expression or a statement. The unary operators in C# are +, -,!, ~, ++, -- and the cast operator.

The signature of the declaration of a unary operator includes the operator token and the type of parameter; it does not require the return type and the name of the parameter.

All the C# unary operators have predefined implementation that will be used by default in an expression. These unary operators can be overloaded in user-defined types with custom implementation by defining static member functions using the "operator" keyword.

Examble Program:

Unary Operators: Unary.cs

using System;

class Unary
public static void Main()
int unary = 0;
int preIncrement;
int preDecrement;
int postIncrement;
int postDecrement;
int positive;
int negative;
sbyte bitNot;
bool logNot;

preIncrement = ++unary;
Console.WriteLine("pre-Increment: {0}", preIncrement);

preDecrement = --unary;
Console.WriteLine("pre-Decrement: {0}", preDecrement);

postDecrement = unary--;
Console.WriteLine("Post-Decrement: {0}", postDecrement);

postIncrement = unary++;
Console.WriteLine("Post-Increment: {0}", postIncrement);

Console.WriteLine("Final Value of Unary: {0}", unary);

positive = -postIncrement;
Console.WriteLine("Positive: {0}", positive);

negative = +postIncrement;
Console.WriteLine("Negative: {0}", negative);

bitNot = 0;
bitNot = (sbyte)(~bitNot);
Console.WriteLine("Bitwise Not: {0}", bitNot);

logNot = false;
logNot = !logNot;
Console.WriteLine("Logical Not: {0}", logNot);

When evaluating expressions, post-increment (x++) and post-decrement (x--) operators return their current value and then apply the operators. However, when using pre-increment (++x) and pre-decrement (--x) operators, the operator is applied to the variable prior to returning the final value.

The unary variable is initialized to zero. When the pre-increment (++x) operator is used, unary is incremented to 1 and the value 1 is assigned to the preIncrement variable. The pre-decrement (--x) operator turns unary back to a 0 and then assigns the value to the preDecrement variable.

When the post-decrement (x--) operator is used, the value of unary, 0, is placed into the postDecrement variable and then unary is decremented to -1. Next the post-increment (x++) operator moves the current value of unary, -1, to the postIncrement variable and then increments unary to 0.

The variable bitNot is initialized to 0 and the bitwise not (~) operator is applied. The bitwise not (~) operator flips the bits in the variable. In this case, the binary representation of 0, "00000000", was transformed into -1, "11111111".

While the (~) operator works by flipping bits, the logical negation operator (!) is a logical operator that works on bool values, changing true to false or false to true. In the case of the logNot variable in Listing 2-2, the value is initialized to false, and the next line applies the logical negation operator, (!), which returns true and reassigns the new value, true, to logNot. Essentially, it is toggling the value of the bool variable, logNot.

The setting of positive is a little tricky. At the time that it is set, the postIncrement variable is equal to -1. Applying the minus (-) operator to a negative number results in a positive number, meaning that positive will equal 1, instead of -1. The minus operator (-), which is not the same as the pre-decrement operator (--), doesn't change the value of postInc - it just applies a sign negation. The plus operator (+) doesn't affect the value of a number, assigning negative with the same value as postIncrement, -1.

Notice the expression (sbyte)(~bitNot). Any operation performed on types sbyte, byte, short, or ushort return int values. To assign the result into the bitNot variable we had to use a cast, (Type), operator, where Type is the type you wish to convert to (in this case - sbyte). The cast operator is shown as the Unary operator, (T)x, in table 2-4. Cast operators must be performed explicity when you go from a larger type to a smaller type because of the potential for lost data. Generally speaking, assigning a smaller type to a larger type is no problem, since the larger type has room to hold the entire value. Also be aware of the dangers of casting between signed and unsigned types. You want to be sure to preserve the integrity of your data. Many basic programming texts contain good descriptions of bit representations of variables and the dangers of explicit casting.

pre-Increment: 1
pre-Decrement 0
Post-Decrement: 0
Post-Increment: -1
Final Value of Unary: 0
Positive: 1
Negative: -1
Bitwise Not: -1
Logical Not: true

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