C# – Use LINQ to get items in one List<>, that are not in another List<>


I would assume there's a simple LINQ query to do this, I'm just not exactly sure how.

Given this piece of code:

class Program
    static void Main(string[] args)
        List<Person> peopleList1 = new List<Person>();
        peopleList1.Add(new Person() { ID = 1 });
        peopleList1.Add(new Person() { ID = 2 });
        peopleList1.Add(new Person() { ID = 3 });

        List<Person> peopleList2 = new List<Person>();
        peopleList2.Add(new Person() { ID = 1 });
        peopleList2.Add(new Person() { ID = 2 });
        peopleList2.Add(new Person() { ID = 3 });
        peopleList2.Add(new Person() { ID = 4 });
        peopleList2.Add(new Person() { ID = 5 });

class Person
    public int ID { get; set; }

I would like to perform a LINQ query to give me all of the people in peopleList2 that are not in peopleList1.

This example should give me two people (ID = 4 & ID = 5)

Best Solution

This can be addressed using the following LINQ expression:

var result = peopleList2.Where(p => !peopleList1.Any(p2 => p2.ID == p.ID));

An alternate way of expressing this via LINQ, which some developers find more readable:

var result = peopleList2.Where(p => peopleList1.All(p2 => p2.ID != p.ID));

Warning: As noted in the comments, these approaches mandate an O(n*m) operation. That may be fine, but could introduce performance issues, and especially if the data set is quite large. If this doesn't satisfy your performance requirements, you may need to evaluate other options. Since the stated requirement is for a solution in LINQ, however, those options aren't explored here. As always, evaluate any approach against the performance requirements your project might have.

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