F# - Structures


A structure in F# is a value type data type. It helps you to make a single variable, hold related data of various data types. The struct keyword is used for creating a structure.


Syntax for defining a structure is as follows −

[ attributes ]
type [accessibility-modifier] type-name =
// or
[ attributes ]
type [accessibility-modifier] type-name =

There are two syntaxes. The first syntax is mostly used, because, if you use the struct and end keywords, you can omit the StructAttribute attribute.

The structure definition elements provide −

  • Member declarations and definitions.
  • Constructors and mutable and immutable fields.
  • Members and interface implementations.

Unlike classes, structures cannot be inherited and cannot contain let or do bindings. Since, structures do not have let bindings; you must declare fields in structures by using the val keyword.

When you define a field and its type using val keyword, you cannot initialize the field value, instead they are initialized to zero or null. So for a structure having an implicit constructor, the val declarations be annotated with the DefaultValue attribute.


The following program creates a line structure along with a constructor. The program calculates the length of a line using the structure −

type Line = struct
   val X1 : float
   val Y1 : float
   val X2 : float
   val Y2 : float

   new (x1, y1, x2, y2) =
      {X1 = x1; Y1 = y1; X2 = x2; Y2 = y2;}
let calcLength(a : Line)=
   let sqr a = a * a
   sqrt(sqr(a.X1 - a.X2) + sqr(a.Y1 - a.Y2) )

let aLine = new Line(1.0, 1.0, 4.0, 5.0)
let length = calcLength aLine
printfn "Length of the Line: %g " length

When you compile and execute the program, it yields the following output −

Length of the Line: 5