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The keyword base describes that you would like to refer to the base class for the requested information, not in the current instantiated class.

A base class is the class in which the currently implemented class inherits from. When creating a class with no defined base class, the compiler automatically uses the System.Object base class.

Therefore the two declarations below are equivalent.

public class MyClass
{
}

public class MyClass : System.Object
{
}

Some of the reasons the base keyword is used is:

  • Passing information to the base class's constructor
public class MyCustomException : System.Exception
{
     public MyCustomException() : base() {}

     public MyCustomerException(string message, Exception innerException) : base(message,innerException) {}

     // ......
}
  • Recalling variables in the base class, where the newly implemented class is overriding its behaviour
public class MyBaseClass
{
     protected string className = "MyBaseClass";
}

public class MyNewClass : MyBaseClass
{
     protected new string className = "MyNewClass";

     public override string BaseClassName
     {
          get { return base.className; }
     }
}
  • Recalling methods in the base class. This is useful when you want to add to a method, but still keep the underlying implementation.
// Necessary using's here

public class _Default : System.Web.UI.Page
{
     protected void InitializeCulture()
     {
          System.Threading.Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentUICulture =
                              CultureInfo.GetSpecificCulture(Page.UICulture);

          base.InitializeCulture();
     }
}



C# Keywords
abstract as base bool break
byte case catch char checked
class const continue decimal default
delegate do double else enum
event explicit extern false finally
fixed float for foreach goto
if implicit in int interface
internal is lock long namespace
new null object operator out
override params private protected public
readonly ref return sbyte sealed
short sizeof stackalloc static string
struct switch this throw true
try typeof uint ulong unchecked
unsafe ushort using var virtual
void volatile while
Special C# Identifiers (Contextual Keywords)
add alias async await dynamic
get global nameof partial remove
set value when where yield
Contextual Keywords (Used in Queries)
ascending by descending equals from
group in into join let
on orderby select where