A tuple is a data structure that can contain elements of data types that are different. A tuple allows the return of several values without having to use the out keyword. It also allows the storage of elements that are duplicate. The maximum number of elements that a tuple can have are 8.

Prior to tuples, if a user wanted to return more than one value, the user would have to use in addition to out, a struct or class.

Creating a tuple

There are two ways to create a tuple: Using the tuple’s constructor or using the Create method.

Using the constructor

Let’s say that we want to create a tuple with three elements called student. This tuple will have the data types: int, string, and int. It will hold the student’s Id, name, and age:

Tuple<int,string, int> student = new Tuple<int, string, int>(1234567, "Ryan Smith", 19);

Using the create method

If we want to create the same tuple as above using the create method, we would do the following:

var student = Tuple.Create<int, string, int>(1234567, "Ryan Smith", 19);

Accessing elements of a tuple

We access the elements of a tuple using the following manner:


Let’s output the student’s name from the tuple called student above. We know that the student’s name is the second element, so we proceed as follows:

Console.WriteLine(student.Item2); //Ryan Smith

Accessing the last element of a tuple

If we want to access the last element of a tuple, we use the Rest method:

var someTuple = Tuple.Create("John", "Robert", "Sally", "Susan", 11, 56, 67, 334);
Console.WriteLine(someTuple.Rest); //(334)

Nested tuples

You can create a nested tuple by placing a tuple inside another tuple and accessing the nested tuple using the Rest method. Although the nested tuple can be placed anywhere inside a tuple, you should keep it at the end in order to access it using the Rest method. Otherwise, you will have to access it using the name of the tuple followed by the item number (e.g. nameOfTuple.ItemNumber).

var anotherTuple = Tuple.Create("John", "Robert", "Sally", "Susan", 11, 56, 67, Tuple.Create(100, 200, 300, 400));

Console.WriteLine(anotherTuple.Item1); //John
Console.WriteLine(anotherTuple.Item2); //Robert
Console.WriteLine(anotherTuple.Item3); //Sally
Console.WriteLine(anotherTuple.Item4); //Susan
Console.WriteLine(anotherTuple.Item5); //11
Console.WriteLine(anotherTuple.Item6); //56
Console.WriteLine(anotherTuple.Item7); //67
Console.WriteLine(anotherTuple.Rest); ((100, 200, 300, 400))