Understanding LINQ's into Clause in C#

LINQ (Language-Integrated Query) is a powerful feature in C# that allows developers to write expressive and concise queries for data manipulation. One interesting aspect of LINQ is the into clause, which is often used in conjunction with the join keyword. In this blog post, we’ll explore the usage of the into clause with a practical example.


Consider a scenario where you have two collections: students and departments. Each student is associated with a department through a DepartmentId. The goal is to retrieve the names of students who belong to the “Computer Science” department. This is where the into clause comes into play.

Example Data

Let’s start by defining our sample data:

List<Student> students = new List<Student>
    new Student { Id = 1, Name = "John", DepartmentId = 101 },
    new Student { Id = 2, Name = "Jane", DepartmentId = 102 },
    new Student { Id = 3, Name = "Bob", DepartmentId = 101 }

List<Department> departments = new List<Department>
    new Department { Id = 101, Name = "Computer Science" },
    new Department { Id = 102, Name = "Mathematics" }

LINQ Query with join and into

Now, let’s construct a LINQ query to achieve our goal:

var query = from student in students
            join department in departments on student.DepartmentId equals department.Id
            select new
                StudentName = student.Name,
                DepartmentName = department.Name
            } into studentDept // The into clause creates a temporary variable
            where studentDept.DepartmentName == "Computer Science"
            select studentDept;

Let’s break down the components of this query:

  • join Clause: Combines elements from students and departments based on the equality of DepartmentId and Id.

  • select Clause: Creates a new anonymous type with properties StudentName and DepartmentName from the joined elements.

  • into Clause: Creates a temporary variable (studentDept) to hold the results of the join clause.

  • where Clause: Filters the results based on the condition that DepartmentName should be “Computer Science.”

Displaying Results

Finally, let’s display the results:

foreach (var result in query)
    Console.WriteLine($"Student: {result.StudentName}, Department: {result.DepartmentName}");

This loop iterates through the results of the LINQ query and prints the student names and department names for those students who belong to the “Computer Science” department.


The into clause in LINQ is a powerful tool that allows developers to create more complex queries by introducing a temporary variable. In this example, we used it to filter and select specific data from joined collections. Understanding the nuances of LINQ can greatly enhance your ability to manipulate data in a concise and readable manner.

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