.net - What are the correct version numbers for C#?

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96

C# language version history:

These are the versions of C# known about at the time of this writing:

In response to the OP's question:

What are the correct version numbers for C#? What came out when? Why can't I find any answers about C# 3.5?

There is no such thing as C# 3.5 - the cause of confusion here is that the C# 3.0 is present in .NET 3.5. The language and framework are versioned independently, however - as is the CLR, which is at version 2.0 for .NET 2.0 through 3.5, .NET 4 introducing CLR 4.0, service packs notwithstanding. The CLR in .NET 4.5 has various improvements, but the versioning is unclear: in some places it may be referred to as CLR 4.5 (this MSDN page used to refer to it that way, for example), but the Environment.Version property still reports 4.0.xxx.

As of May 3, 2017, the C# Language Team created a history of C# versions and features on their GitHub repository: Features Added in C# Language Versions. There is also a page that tracks upcoming and recently implemented language features.

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85

This is the same as most answers here, but tabularized for ease, and it has Visual Studio and .NET versions for completeness.

C# version VS version .NET version CLR version Release date
1.0 2002 1.0 1.0 Feb 2002
1.2 2003 1.1 1.1 Apr 2003
2.0 2005 2.0 2.0 Nov 2005
3.0 2.0 Nov 2006
3.0 2008 3.5 2.0 Nov 2007
4.0 2010 4.0 4 Apr 2010
5.0 2012 4.5 4 Aug 2012
5.0 2013 4.5.1 4 Oct 2013
4.5.2 4 May 2014
6.0 2015 4.6 4 Jul 2015
4.6.1 4 Nov 2015
4.6.2 4 Aug 2016
7.0 2017 Mar 2017
4.7 4 May 2017
7.1 2017 (v15.3) Aug 2017
4.7.1 4 Oct 2017
7.2 2017 (v15.5) Dec 2017
4.7.2 4 Apr 2018
7.3 2017 (v15.7) May 2018
8.0 2019 4.8 4 Apr 2019
9.0 2019 (v16.8) 5.0* ** Nov 2020

Versions since .NET Core

C# version VS version .NET version Release date End of Support
2015 Update 3 .NET Core 1.0 Jun 2016 Jun 2019
.NET Core 1.1 Nov 2016 Jun 2019
7.1 2017 (v15.3) .NET Core 2.0 Aug 2017 Oct 2018
7.3 2017 (v15.7) .NET Core 2.1 May 2018 Aug 2021
.NET Core 2.2 Dec 2018 Dec 2019
2019 (v16.3) .NET Core 3.0 Sep 2019 Mar 2020
2019 (v16.4) .NET Core 3.1 Dec 2019 Dec 2022
9.0 2019 (v16.8) .NET 5 Nov 2020 Feb 2022
10.0 2022 .NET 6 Nov 2021 Nov 2024
.NET 7 Nov 2022 Feb 2023
.NET 8 Nov 2023 Nov 2026

* - .NET 5.0 is not a newer version of .NET framework but .NET Core 3. Starting from .NET 5.0, there are no newer versions of .NET full framework.

** - There are no separate CLR (CoreCLR) versions for .NET Core. Whatever is the .NET Core version is the CoreCLR version. So not mentioning it.


Note: .NET development is pretty much independent of VS these days, there is no correlation between versions of each.
Refer to ".NET Framework versions and dependencies" and ".NET release cadence" for more.

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74

The biggest problem when dealing with C#'s version numbers is the fact that it is not tied to a version of the .NET Framework, which it appears to be due to the synchronized releases between Visual Studio and the .NET Framework.

The version of C# is actually bound to the compiler, not the framework. For instance, in Visual Studio 2008 you can write C# 3.0 and target .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5. The C# 3.0 nomenclature describes the version of the code syntax and supported features in the same way that ANSI C89, C90, and C99 describe the code syntax and features for C.

Take a look at Mono, and you will see that Mono 2.0 (mostly implemented version 2.0 of the .NET Framework from the ECMA specifications) supports the C# 3.0 syntax and features.

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66

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55

Version Language specification Microsoft compiler
C# 1.0/1.2 December 2001?/2003? January 2002?
C# 2.0 September 2005 November 2005?
C# 3.0 May 2006 November 2006?
C# 4.0 March 2009 (draft) April 2010?
C# 5.0 Released with .NET 4.5 in August 2012
C# 6.0 Released with .NET 4.6 2015
C# 7.0 Released with .NET 4.7 2017
C# 8.0 Released with .NET 4.8 2019

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