C# Abstract Class

C# Abstract Class:

Welcome to another wonderful article for C# Abstract Class, As a .NET developer, you've probably come across the concept of abstraction. In C#, one way to achieve abstraction is through the use of abstract classes.

C# Abstract class is a special type of class that cannot be instantiated. It is a base class for other classes to inherit from and implement its abstract methods.

Abstract classes in C# allow you to create a blueprint for derived classes, providing a common interface while enforcing certain rules.


  1. C# Abstract classes are a base class for inheritance, cannot be directly instantiated, and require the implementation of abstract methods.
  2. C# Abstract class promotes code reuse, encapsulation, and polymorphism, providing a foundation for robust and scalable applications.
  3. Derived classes must implement all abstract methods and properties of the C# Abstract Class and cannot be marked abstract unless intended for further implementation in derived classes.
  4. Abstract methods have no implementation and must be implemented in derived classes.
  5. Abstract classes can define abstract properties to enforce implementation in derived classes using get and set accessors.

Importance of abstract classes in C# programming

Abstract classes C#, play a vital role in programming as they promote code reusability, encapsulation, and polymorphism. They serve as a foundation for creating robust and scalable applications, ensuring that related classes adhere to a standard structure and share common functionality.

Key characteristics of abstract C# class

  1. Cannot be instantiated directly
  2. Can contain abstract methods and properties
  3. Can contain non-abstract methods and properties
  4. Supports inheritance and polymorphism

Abstract class in C# vs. Regular class

The primary difference between an abstract class and a regular class is that an abstract class cannot be instantiated directly. Regular classes, on the other hand, can be instantiated and used directly without any restrictions.

Rules for inheriting C# abstract class

When inheriting from an abstract class, the derived class must:

  1. Implement all the abstract methods and properties of the base class.
  2. Not be marked as abstract itself, unless it wants to leave the implementation to its derived classes.

Code example: inheriting from an abstract C# class

abstract class Animal
    public abstract void Speak();

class Dog : Animal
    public override void Speak()

In this program, we created an instance of the “Dog” class, which is derived from the “Animal” abstract class. We assigned this instance to a variable of type “Animal”, which is possible because “Dog” is a subclass “of Animal”.

We then calling the “Speak” method on the “animal” variable, which actually calls the “Speak” method on the “Dog” instance. This outputs "Woof!" to the console.

Note that the “Animal” class is declared as abstract, so we cannot create an instance of it directly. Instead, we created an instance of the “Dog” class, which implements the abstract “Speak” method.

How abstract c# class support inheritance and polymorphism

Abstract classes in C# provide a common interface for derived classes, allowing them to be treated as objects of the base class type. This supports the concept of polymorphism, enabling you to write more flexible and extensible code.

Abstract methods in abstract class c#

Abstract methods are methods declared in an abstract class with no implementation. Derived classes must implement these methods.

Code example: Creating and using abstract methods in C#

abstract class Shape
    public abstract double Area();

class Circle : Shape
    public double Radius { get; set; }

    public override double Area()
        return Math.PI * Math.Pow(Radius, 2);

Implementing abstract methods in derived classes

Derived classes must provide an implementation for each abstract method of a base class. If a derived class doesn't provide an implementation, it must be marked as abstract, and its derived classes will be responsible for providing the implementation.

C# abstract class properties

Abstract classes can define abstract properties, which use get and set accessors to enforce implementation in derived classes.

Code example: Defining and using abstract properties with get and set accessors (Abstract Class with Get and Set Accessors)

abstract class Employee
    public abstract string Name { get; set; }

class Manager : Employee
    private string _name;

    public override string Name
        get { return _name; }
        set { _name = value; }

Role of constructors in abstract C# classes

Although abstract classes cannot be instantiated directly, they can still define constructors to initialize base class members. Derived classes can call these constructors using the base keyword.

Code example: Using a constructor in an abstract class (How to Access Constructor of Abstract Classes)

abstract class Vehicle
    public string Make { get; set; }
    public string Model { get; set; }

    protected Vehicle(string make, string model)
        Make = make;
        Model = model;

class Car : Vehicle
    public int Year { get; set; }

    public Car(string make, string model, int year) : base(make, model)
        Year = year;

Advantages of Abstract Classes in C#

  1. Code reusability: Abstract classes promote code reusability by providing a common interface and shared functionality for derived classes.
  2. Encapsulation: Abstract classes can help enforce encapsulation by allowing you to separate the implementation details of derived classes from their public interface.
  3. Polymorphism: By providing a common interface for derived classes, abstract classes enable polymorphism, making it easier to write flexible and extensible code.
  4. Enforcing a common interface: Abstract classes ensure that derived classes adhere to a standard structure, making it easier to understand and maintain your code.

Disadvantages of Abstract Classes in C#

  1. Inability to create instances directly: Abstract classes cannot be instantiated directly, which can be a limitation if you need to create objects of the base class type.
  2. Limitations in multiple inheritance: C# does not support multiple inheritance for classes. It means a class can only inherit from one abstract class, which can limit flexibility.
  3. Potential for complexity: While abstract classes have many advantages, they can also introduce complexity to your code if not used correctly. It's essential to adjust the right balance between abstraction and simplicity.


In summary, C# abstract classes provide an effective way to achieve abstraction. They offer several advantages, including code reusability, encapsulation, polymorphism, and enforcing a common interface for derived classes.

Encouragement to further explore C# abstract class:

As you continue to build your programming skills in C#, we encourage you to delve deeper into abstract classes and their practical applications. By understanding and applying this powerful concept, you'll be able to write more efficient, maintainable, and scalable code.

Strengthen your knowledge about Abstract Class C#, by reading our other detailed articles on this topic we have for you! What is an abstract class in C#, Abstract class vs Interface c#, Abstract class C# example, Difference between abstract class and interface in c#.