No, you're still not getting it. Let me try to explain with more detail, and a little more step by step:
Let's say that I have to write a computer program that reads a string
character by character. I've decided that I need to use double
quotes to signify the beginning and the end
of a string. Knowing this, I can represent the string
in my code file
Great, no problem. But, what if I want to signify the following:
Bob says, "Hello."
Now I have a problem. The text I want to represent contains a quote character. So doing this won't work:
"Bob says, "Hello""
Because, the quote signifies the beginning and the ending of ths string. So what do I do? I use a special character that means "the next character should be considered part of the string, and not signify the beginning or the end of the string. I'll make that character be a "\". So now, I can type the following to represent my desired string:
"Bob says, \"Hello\""
Preceding the quote symbol with a backslash
means that the next character is going to be a quote that is considered part of the string, not the end of the string. Not preceding it means that I'm signifying the end or beginning of the string.
Now that I've done that, I have another problem. What if I want to represent this character. For example, what if I have a string like the following:
Now since I've redefined my backslash to mean that the next character is to be taken literally and not as a bounds to the value I'm trying to represent, putting the "\" in at all is now a very difficult thing.
So what do I do? I follow that backslash with another backslash to represent the end of the string. So now, to represent the string, I do this:
The above format is what the C# debugger will show when you hover over a particular string variable
containing the text:
In other words, it shows the value as it would need to be written in the source file, and not as it actually is.
So what about when you need to represent the following text:
When two backslashes (\\) are together, it means we want to represent a single "\" character.
How would you format that in the source code? Like this:
"When two backslashes (\\\\) are together, it means we want to represent a single \"\\\" character."
Confusing, I know, but the idea is still the same. My actual text I want to represent contains two backslashes in succession, so to represent that, I'd have to put four backslashes in succession. Also, note how the characters following "single" and before "character" are represented, by using a backslash, quote, backslash, backslash, backslash, quote respectively.
This is what it means to escape a string. Though string appear escaped in the debugger, this does not add to their length. The runtime still recognizes an escaped character as simply one character
and not two. In other words, it does not take into account the escape character (\) when calculating the length
of the escaped character (\\),