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Understand Lambda Expressions in 3 minutes

, 5 Mar 2013 CPOL
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Lambda expressions short tutorial.
  1. What is a Lambda Expression?
  2. A lambda expression is an anonymous function and it is mostly used to create delegates in LINQ. Simply put, it's a method without a declaration, i.e., access modifier, return value declaration, and name. 

  3. Why do we need lambda expressions? (Why would we need to write a method without a name?)
  4. Convenience. It's a shorthand that allows you to write a method in the same place you are going to use it. Especially useful in places where a method is being used only once, and the method definition is short. It saves you the effort of declaring and writing a separate method to the containing class.


    1. Reduced typing. No need to specify the name of the function, its return type, and its access modifier. 
    2. When reading the code you don't need to look elsewhere for the method's definition. 

    Lambda expressions should be short. A complex definition makes the calling code difficult to read. 

  5. How do we define a lambda expression? 
  6. Lambda basic definition: Parameters => Executed code.

Simple example

n => n % 2 == 1 
  • n is the input parameter
  • n % 2 == 1 is the expression

You can read n => n % 2 == 1 like: "input parameter named n goes to anonymous function which returns true if the input is odd".

Same example (now execute the lambda):

List<int> numbers = new List<int>{11,37,52};
List<int> oddNumbers = numbers.where(n => n % 2 == 1).ToList();
//Now oddNumbers is equal to 11 and 37

That's all, now you know the basics of Lambda Expressions.

  • * I didn't mention expression trees/run time advantages of lambda expression due to limited scope.
  • * Reference Lambda Expression tutorial


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Dan Avidar

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Comments and Discussions

Questionlink to "more info" is a virus PinmemberMember 105394751-Feb-15 14:36 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pinmemberakshay08-Jan-15 2:14 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberYannisPs5-Nov-14 1:59 
QuestionThank you soooo much PinmemberDon Driskell21-Oct-14 8:53 
GeneralPerfect Article PinmemberBala_Subramani26-Jun-14 2:48 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembersandeepmgupta10-Jun-14 23:13 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberDhanu7865-Jun-14 20:36 
QuestionThanks Pinmemberafablulo4-Jun-14 15:06 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberPaw Møller3-Jun-14 15:07 
QuestionNicely written PinmemberStarsAreUs2-Jun-14 14:28 
QuestionThanks PinmemberAndrew Torrance2-Apr-14 0:48 
QuestionThanks! Pinmemberproloser24-Feb-14 15:30 
QuestionNice but the last link is obsolete Pinmemberrj475625-Jan-14 19:13 
AnswerRe: Nice but the last link is obsolete PinmemberNick Alexeev16-Apr-14 10:25 
GeneralRe: Nice but the last link is obsolete Pinmemberrj475621-Apr-14 19:14 
QuestionMy vote of 5 PinmemberMember 323305517-Dec-13 20:53 
GeneralThe simplest article of confused topic so far. Thank You PinmemberDeepak K Gupta29-Sep-13 11:06 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberTarun Y Mangukiya2-Sep-13 5:57 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinprofessionalEdgar ramirez24-Aug-13 8:54 
QuestionSorry... Pinmemberjhewitt999923-Aug-13 12:45 
QuestionNice intro, but could expand PinmemberShaunnyBoy21-Aug-13 3:01 
QuestionNicely explained...Very thanks PingroupChintan.Desai31-Jul-13 19:01 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinprofessionalBrian A Stephens1-Jul-13 3:33 
GeneralMy vote of 4 PinmemberAdam Nain12-Jun-13 21:08 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberJavier Prieto12-Jun-13 4:40 

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