Constructor: Types of Constructors

Constructor is a special type of subroutine called to create an object. It prepares the new object for use, often accepting arguments that the constructor uses to set required member variables.

It is a instance method, but it differs from a method in that it has no explicit return type, it is not implicitly inherited and it usually has different rules for scope modifiers. Constructors often have the same name as the declaring class. They have the task of initializing the object’s data members and of establishing the invariant of the class, failing if the invariant is invalid. A properly written constructor leaves the resulting object in a valid state. Immutable objects must be initialized in a constructor.

Most of the languages allow overloading the constructor in that there can be more than one constructor for a class, with differing parameters. Some languages take consideration of some special types of constructors. Constructors, which concretely use a single class to create objects and return a new instance of the class, are abstracted by factories, which also create objects but can do so in various ways, using multiple classes or different allocation schemes such as an object pool.


Types of Constructor

1. Parameterized constructor

Constructors that can take at least one argument are termed as parameterized constructors.

For example:

class Example
     int x, y;
     Example(int a, int b); // Parameterized constructor
Example :: Example()
Example :: Example(int a, int b)
     x = a;
     y = b;

2. Default constructor

The behavior of the default constructor is language dependent. It may initialize data members to zero or other same values, or it may do nothing at all.

Some languages Java, C#, VB .NET will default construct arrays of class types to contain null references. Languages without null references may not allow default construction of arrays of non default constructible objects, or require explicit initialization at the time of the creation C++:

#include <iostream>

class student{
        int a,b;
        student(a=0,b=0)   //default constructor

int main()


3. Conversion constructors

Conversion constructors provide a means for a compiler to implicitly create an object belonging to one class based on an object of a different type. These constructors are usually invoked implicitly to convert arguments or operands to an appropriate type, but they may also be called explicitly.

4. Move constructors

In C++, move constructors take a value reference to an object of the class, and are used to implement ownership transfer of the parameter object’s resources.

5. Copy constructors

Copy constructors define the actions performed by the compiler when copying class objects. A copy constructor has one formal parameter that is the type of the class (the parameter may be a reference to an object). It is used to create a copy of an existing object of the same class. Even though both classes are the same, it counts as a conversion constructor.