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Lesson 13 - Inheritance in C++

In the previous lesson, Assignment operator, we defined the basic methods that a usual class should have. In today's tutorial, we're going to expand our knowledge of object-oriented programming. In the introduction of this course, we mentioned that the OOP is based on three fundamental concepts: encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism. We're already familiar with the encapsulation and have used the private access modifier. Today, we're going to be taking a look at the inheritance.


Inheritance is one of the basic features of OOP and is used to create new data structures based on old ones. Let's look at a simple example:

Imagine that we were hired to create a database that will keep track of animals at a zoo :) There will be two types of users in our system: users and administrators. Users will be common zookeepers who will be able to edit information about the animals, e.g. their weight or wingspan. The administrator will be able to modify animal data as well and add or delete animals from the database. Administrators will have an extra field, a phone number so they can be contacted in case of system failure. It'd be pointless and confusing to fully define both classes since they have many fields and methods in common. Both the user and the administrator will have names, ages and be able to log in and log out. Let's define only the User class.


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In this tutorial, we'll explain the fundamentals of object inheritance in C++. We'll learn to reuse code and use inheritance correctly.

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Article has been written for you by David Capka
The author is a programmer, who likes web technologies and being the lead/chief article writer at He shares his knowledge with the community and is always looking to improve. He believes that anyone can do what they set their mind to.
Unicorn university The author learned IT at the Unicorn University - a prestigious college providing education on IT and economics.
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