Return the First Element of a Sequence in LINQ

If you have a List<string> and want to quickly retrieve the first item of the sequence, use FirstOrDefault()

Enumerable.FirstOrDefault() returns the first element of a sequence, or a default value if the sequence contains no elements. For eg: Running the following query returns 'Jack'


void Main()


    List<string> list = new List<string>() { "Jack", "And", "Jill", "Went", "Up", "The", "Hill" };

    var first = list.FirstOrDefault();




Private Sub Main()

    Dim list As New List(Of String)(New String() {"Jack", "And", "Jill", "Went", "Up", "The", "Hill"})

    Dim first = list.FirstOrDefault()


End Sub

Similarly if FirstOrDefault is used on an empty list of integers, it returns 0

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About The Author

Suprotim Agarwal
Suprotim Agarwal, Developer Technologies MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) is the founder and contributor for DevCurry, DotNetCurry and SQLServerCurry. He is the Chief Editor of a Developer Magazine called DNC Magazine. He has also authored two Books - 51 Recipes using jQuery with ASP.NET Controls. and The Absolutely Awesome jQuery CookBook.

Follow him on twitter @suprotimagarwal.

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