C# – Retrieving Property name from lambda expression


Is there a better way to get the Property name when passed in via a lambda expression?
Here is what i currently have.


GetSortingInfo<User>(u => u.UserId);

It worked by casting it as a memberexpression only when the property was a string. because not all properties are strings i had to use object but then it would return a unaryexpression for those.

public static RouteValueDictionary GetInfo<T>(this HtmlHelper html, 
    Expression<Func<T, object>> action) where T : class
    var expression = GetMemberInfo(action);
    string name = expression.Member.Name;

    return GetInfo(html, name);

private static MemberExpression GetMemberInfo(Expression method)
    LambdaExpression lambda = method as LambdaExpression;
    if (lambda == null)
        throw new ArgumentNullException("method");

    MemberExpression memberExpr = null;

    if (lambda.Body.NodeType == ExpressionType.Convert)
        memberExpr = 
            ((UnaryExpression)lambda.Body).Operand as MemberExpression;
    else if (lambda.Body.NodeType == ExpressionType.MemberAccess)
        memberExpr = lambda.Body as MemberExpression;

    if (memberExpr == null)
        throw new ArgumentException("method");

    return memberExpr;

Best Solution

I recently did a very similar thing to make a type safe OnPropertyChanged method.

Here's a method that'll return the PropertyInfo object for the expression. It throws an exception if the expression is not a property.

public PropertyInfo GetPropertyInfo<TSource, TProperty>(
    TSource source,
    Expression<Func<TSource, TProperty>> propertyLambda)
    Type type = typeof(TSource);

    MemberExpression member = propertyLambda.Body as MemberExpression;
    if (member == null)
        throw new ArgumentException(string.Format(
            "Expression '{0}' refers to a method, not a property.",

    PropertyInfo propInfo = member.Member as PropertyInfo;
    if (propInfo == null)
        throw new ArgumentException(string.Format(
            "Expression '{0}' refers to a field, not a property.",

    if (type != propInfo.ReflectedType &&
        throw new ArgumentException(string.Format(
            "Expression '{0}' refers to a property that is not from type {1}.",

    return propInfo;

The source parameter is used so the compiler can do type inference on the method call. You can do the following

var propertyInfo = GetPropertyInfo(someUserObject, u => u.UserID);