C# – What’s the use/meaning of the @ character in variable names in C#


I discovered that you can start your variable name with a '@' character in C#.
In my C# project I was using a web service (I added a web reference to my project) that was written in Java. One of the interface objects defined in the WSDL had a member variable with the name "params". Obviously this is a reserved word in C# so you can't have a class with a member variable with the name "params". The proxy object that was generated contained a property that looked like this:

public ArrayList @params {
    get { return this.paramsField; }
    set { this.paramsField = value; }

I searched through the VS 2008 c# documentation but couldn't find anything about it. Also searching Google didn't give me any useful answers. So what is the exact meaning or use of the '@' character in a variable/property name?

Best Answer

Straight from the C# Language Specification, Identifiers (C#) :

The prefix "@" enables the use of keywords as identifiers, which is useful when interfacing with other programming languages. The character @ is not actually part of the identifier, so the identifier might be seen in other languages as a normal identifier, without the prefix. An identifier with an @ prefix is called a verbatim identifier.