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What Does Concatenation Mean?

Concatenation, in the context of programming, is the operation of joining two strings together. The term”concatenation” literally means to merge two things together.


Also known as string concatenation.

Techopedia Explains Concatenation

The process of merging data literals is one of the core applications of concatenation. The general syntax to achieve concatenation is given below:

(data type)(concatenation operator)(data type)=(concatenated expression)

Consider two strings: hello=”hello” and world=” world”

The concatenation syntax in different programming languages is given below.

hello & world : VB,VB.NET and Ada
strcat(hello, world) : C, C++ Perl, PHP
hello || world : REXX, SQL
hello || world : FORTRAN
hello ++ world : Erlang, Haskell
hello ^ world : Ocaml, Standard ML, F#
hello+world : Java

In addition to strings, concatenation can be applied to any other data type, including objects. For simple data types such as binary, integer, floating point, character and Boolean, prior to concatenation string type conversion is applied. Concatenation can then be easily applied using one of the above operators. For objects, concatenation implies the concatenation of data contained within the objects and is generally possible only if the structure of the objects is the same or if both objects belong to the same class. A method can be incorporated into the class to concatenate each and every data member of both objects and return the computed result to the main routine.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.