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C# Contains String Method

This C# program shows the Contains method on the string type. The implementation of Contains is revealed.

Contains. Like IndexOf, Contains searches strings.

It checks if one substring is contained in another. It also provides a case-sensitive ordinal method for checking string contents. Contains returns true or false, not an index.

Example. Contains is an instance method on the string type, which means you can call it on a specific string in your program. It has a bool result, which is true if the parameter is found, and false if it is not found.


Next: The example program shows that Contains is case-sensitive. It shows how to test the result of Contains.

C# program that uses Contains

using System;

class Program
    static void Main()
	Test("Dot Net Perls");
	Test("The Developer Blog");

    static void Test(string input)
	Console.Write("--- ");
	Console.WriteLine(" ---");
	// See if the string contains 'Net'
	bool contains = input.Contains("Net");
	// Write the result
	Console.Write("Contains 'Net': ");
	// See if the string contains 'deves' lowercase
	if (input.Contains("deves"))
	    Console.WriteLine("Contains 'deves'");
	// See if the string contains 'Dot'
	if (!input.Contains("Dot"))
	    Console.WriteLine("Doesn't Contain 'Dot'");


--- Dot Net Perls ---
Contains 'Net': True
--- The Developer Blog ---
Contains 'Net': False
Contains 'deves'
Doesn't Contain 'Dot'

In this example, we call twice the Test method. In that method, the output is printed the console. The string "Net" is first tested with Contains. We show that Contains is case-sensitive.

Testing the result of Contains. The Test method checks Contains in if-conditionals. It shows how to test it for true and false. You also can store the result of Contains in a bool variable.

True, FalseIf

Internals. Contains is actually just a wrapper for IndexOf. When IndexOf returns -1, the string was not found. When Contains cannot find the string, it returns false instead. Contains has no performance advantage over calling IndexOf.

Tip: In IL Disassembler, we see how Contains is implemented. Please check the detailed article.

IL Disassembler Tutorial

Ordinal refers to a position number. When used with strings, it means that the characters are treated as numbers, not symbols. With StringComparison.Ordinal, all language characters are treated the same—regardless of the system locale.

Performance. I have found that ordinal comparisons on strings are much faster than culture-dependent comparisons. This makes sense because it is easier for the system to compare numbers than symbols.

Summary. The simplest method to perform a task is often the best one. Contains is a simplified version of IndexOf. It allows you to easily check whether a string is contained in another. This is useful.

Also: Contains is not affected by the system locale, so it is reliable on all systems.