Parsing is taking information from a source and interpreting in in another way. For example, taking a string and parsing it to an integer so you can apply it to a mathematical function.

The parse Methods is specific in that it only converts Strings to other types. (Use the ToString() method to convert other types to strings). (See: Handling strings in C-Sharp). The purpose of .Parse is to make a string representation of other types.

For example:

public static DateTime Parse (string s);

Converts the string representation of a date and time to its DateTime equivalent by using the conventions of the current thread culture.


.TryParse handles the catch method for us. Instead of crashing the program it will return a bool (which can then be assigned to a variable which can be passed into If-else Statements)

.TryParse(param, out param);

out passes a variable instance (a pointer) directly into the method rather than a copy. **Any changes TryParse makes to the method passed will directly affect the outside variable.

  • The Parse and TryParse methods ignore white space at the beginning and at the end of the string. But all other characters must be characters that form the appropriate type. (e.g. int, long, ulong, float, decimal for numeric types). Any white space within the string that forms the number will cause an error.