Inheritance in C++

Inheritance is a fundamental concept in object-oriented programming (OOP) that allows one class to inherit the properties and behaviors of another class. It is a powerful mechanism in C++ that promotes code reusability and the creation of well-structured, organized code.

In C++, inheritance is a relationship between two classes: a base class (also known as a parent class) and a derived class (also known as a child class). The derived class inherits the members (data members and member functions) of the base class, allowing for the reuse of existing code and extending it as needed.

In the below PDF we discuss about Inheritance in detail in simple language, Hope this will help in better understanding.

Let's start with a simple example to illustrate the concept of inheritance:

// Base class
class Shape {
void Draw() {
// Code to draw a shape

// Derived class
class Circle : public Shape {
void Draw() {
// Code to draw a circle

In this example, we have a base class Shape with a member function Draw(), which can draw a generic shape. The derived class Circle inherits from Shape and provides its own implementation of Draw(), which specifically draws a circle.

Types of Inheritance:

C++ supports several types of inheritance, each with its own characteristics:

1.Single Inheritance:
A derived class inherits from a single base class.

2.Multiple Inheritance:
A derived class inherits from multiple base classes. This allows you to combine the features of multiple classes into one.

3.Multilevel Inheritance:
A derived class is used as a base class for another class, creating a chain of inheritance.

4.Hierarchical Inheritance:
Multiple derived classes inherit from a single base class.

5.Hybrid Inheritance:
A combination of two or more types of inheritance.

Benefits of Inheritance:

Inheritance provides several advantages in C++ programming:

1.Code Reusability:
Inheritance allows you to reuse code from existing classes, reducing duplication and promoting a more efficient development process.

Inherited classes can be treated as instances of their base class, facilitating polymorphism and allowing for more flexible code.

Inheritance helps organize classes hierarchically, making the codebase more structured and easier to manage.

Changes made to the base class automatically propagate to the derived classes, ensuring consistency and simplifying maintenance.

Related Question

Inheritance is a fundamental concept in object-oriented programming (OOP) that allows a class to inherit properties and behaviors (data members and member functions) from another class. It promotes code reuse and establishes a hierarchy among classes.


A derived class can have its own constructor(s), which can initialize its own data members and call the constructor of the base class using the base class constructor initializer list.

Yes, C++ supports multiple inheritance, which means a class can inherit from more than one base class. However, it requires careful handling to avoid ambiguities.

Inheritance represents an “is-a” relationship, meaning that a derived class is a specialized version of the base class. For example, if you have a base class “Animal” and a derived class “Dog,” you can say that “Dog is an Animal.”


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Constructors in C++ A constructor

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