Using Variables from Methods

Using Variables from Methods


: In this Java tutorial

Using Variables from Methods

, you understand how to call instance and local variables from methods.

Observe keenly the difference of using variables from methods. An object is required to call instance variables but not local. You know, C/C++

global variables

in Java are called as

instance variables


We have seen earlier with, Using Methods program, how to use methods in Java, but it was without using instance variables. Now let us use instance variables from methods.

public class VariablesWithMethods
  int a = 100;
  public void show()
    int b = 200;                                          // calling instance variable a
    System.out.println("a value from show(): " + a);   
                                                          // calling local variable b
    System.out.println("b value from show(): " + b);    
    a = 300;
  public static void main(String args[])
    VariablesWithMethods vwm = new VariablesWithMethods();;   
    System.out.println("a value from main(): " + vwm.a);  // prints 300    
Using Variables from Methods
Output screen of

Even though the code looks simple, there is a necessity to explain how vwm.a called from main() method printed 300 and not 100. What are the principles involved and what is going actually inside when using variables from methods?

Java behavior in using variables from methods

To make coding simple, designers share a lot of work which we are supposed to do ourselves. Whenever a method is called with an object, like, the instance variables inside the method are linked with the object implicitly. For this reason, the a called from show() becomes vwm.a. One more principle is, whenever an instance variable is called with an object, a global location is created for vwm.a. This location even though created through show() method, the location can be accessed by any other method, but with vwm object only. The location a is private to object vwm only. This is how encapsulation is maintained. If another object is there like vwm1 and called the show() as, then there creates a location on the name of vwm1.a and this location is private to vwm1.

Now a value in show() method is changed from 100 to 300. But a is nothing but vwm.a. Earlier value in the location is 100 and now changed to 300. By the time control comes to vwm.a in main() method, the value of vwm.a is already changed. For this reason, vwm.a from main() method prints 300.

To get the concept more clearer, let us write one more program with an additional explanation of data binding, data hiding and encapsulation.

Following topics give more command over variables and methods.

1. Using Local and Instance Variables.

2. Data Types Default Values – No Garbage.

3. Primitive Data Types.

4. Java Drawbacks.

6 thoughts on “Using Variables from Methods”

  1. hello sir,

    suppose if we want to call that global variable a=100; after the calling of the show function, what would you recommend to call that outside a variable???, may be a scope resolution likewise in c++???

  2. sir ,

    please find the below code:

    public class VariableMethods

    int a = 100;

    public void show()

    int b = 50;

    System.out.println(“a calling from show() :” + a);
    System.out.println(“b calling from show() ” + b);

    a = 100;


    public static void main(String[] args)

    VariableMethods ob = new VariableMethods();;

    System.out.println(“a calling from main() :” +ob.a);


    As u already stated that instance vars are Global vars. if vars are declared inside a Method then how it can be a global var ?? i have a confusion in this please clear it sir.. am assuming as ‘a’ value declared outside method then it is called global and ‘b’ value declared inside of method then it is called local var…am i right.. ABOVE THEORY IS CONFUSING ME..

  3. sir,

    if instance variable is accessed with an object then it calls value 100. And local variable can access without object inside the class and it calls a and b values as 300 and 200. But how it printed 300 in above prgm. am executed same above program with diff values but i didn’t get the result as above. Could u explain a little bit more in detail. thank u in advance…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.