Sort of. But ... it's not a "memory location" that is passed or returned - it's a reference, which is different. Calling it a "memory location" implies that it returns a pointer, which it doesn't - a reference is not a pointer, although you can think of it as a "pointer on steroids".
Returning a reference to a value is complicated (and pretty new, it was only added at C# 7.0) because you have to avoid the old C and C++ problem of "dangling pointers", where the pointer you return from a function call is to a local variable which has been deallocated because the function has exited. Microsoft makes a pretty good job of describing it: Ref return values and ref locals (C# Guide) | Microsoft Docs
But returning a reference to a value type is not a case of "returning a pointer" at all: it returns a reference to a boxed value type - i.e. the value is copied into a new object instance which is created on the heap for it, and the reference to that is returned, not a reference to the original value type instance. Boxing and Unboxing - C# Programming Guide | Microsoft Docs
That means that the operation may take some time (if the struct is large, then a lot of copying gets done, as well as the allocation of a large object on the heap).
Quote:Also while on StackOverFlow I came across this statement that supposably establishes the difference between a reference and a pointer: "A pointer points to a place in memory while a reference points to an object in memory"... Is there any truth to this statement in terms of it tying into what you were trying to explain in your answer???
Don't think about pointers here, they don't help!
A reference is not a pointer - C# has pointers, but they are deliberately disabled by default (and require the "unsafe" keyboard in order to be "turned on") and they require some very careful coding when you do use them, for one important reason: the memory that a reference refers to is not fixed in place
The Garbage collector can move memory around to free up larger chunks, and this happens behind the scenes so your code isn't even aware that the data you are working with is no longer in the same place - and when it does all the references to that memory automatically refer to the right place.
With pointers, that can't happen, because a pointer refers to a specific location in memory, and if that data is moved, then all the pointers need to be changed simultaneously - including all the ones which are pointing to a character further on in the string for example:
char p1 = "Hello World!";
char* p2 = p1 + 6;
If you move the data "Hello World!" in memory, then you have to also change p1 and p2 appropriately, and that gets horribly complicated and difficult.
A reference gets around that because (although it uses a pointer internally) what it points to is an object (which also says what type of data it is) and the object can be moved by the GC with impunity.
Basically, don't worry about it - but don't use "points to" in terms of a reference because that implies actual C# pointers, and they aren't the same.
If you really want to kn ow how all this is done behind the scenes, start here: .NET Type Internals - From a Microsoft CLR Perspective
] - but don't expect it to be "beginner friendly" or even useful in everyday coding! :laugh: