C# – How would you do a “not in” query with LINQ


I have two collections which have property Email in both collections. I need to get a list of the items in the first list where Email does not exist in the second list. With SQL I would just use "not in", but I do not know the equivalent in LINQ. How is that done?

So far I have a join, like…

var matches = from item1 in list1
join item2 in list2 on item1.Email equals item2.Email
select new { Email = list1.Email };

But I cannot join since I need the difference and the join would fail. I need some way of using Contains or Exists I believe. I just have not found an example to do that yet.

Best Solution

You want the Except operator.

var answer = list1.Except(list2);

Better explanation here: https://docs.microsoft.com/archive/blogs/charlie/linq-farm-more-on-set-operators

NOTE: This technique works best for primitive types only, since you have to implement an IEqualityComparer to use the Except method with complex types.