The datatype of an object is given as a short int.

q)type 5                      / integer atom
q)type 2 3 5                  / integer list
q)type (2;3 5f;"hello")       / mixed list
q)type each (2;3 5f;"hello")
-6 9 10h
q)type (+)                    /not just data
type, casting between types

Primitive datatypes

Primitive datatypes are in the range ± 1h to 19h: positive for a vector, negative for an atom. (A general list has type 0h.)

num char size literal null name sql java .net
1 b 1 0b boolean Boolean boolean
2 g 16 0Ng guid UUID GUID
4 x 1 0x00 byte Byte byte
5 h 2 0h 0Nh short smallint Short int16
6 i 4 0i 0Ni int int Integer int32
7 j 8 0j / 0 0Nj / 0N long bigint Long int64
8 e 4 0e 0Ne real real Float single
9 f 8 0.0 or 0f 0n float float Double double
10 c 1 " " " " char Character char
11 s . ` ` symbol varchar String string
12 p 8 dateDtimespan 0Np timestamp Timestamp DateTime (r/w)
13 m 4 2000.01m 0Nm month
14 d 4 2000.01.01 0Nd date date Date
15 z 8 dateTtime 0Nz datetime timestamp Timestamp DateTime (read only)
16 n 8 00:00:00.000000000 0Nn timespan Timespan TimeSpan
17 u 4 00:00 0Nu minute
18 v 4 00:00:00 0Nv second
19 t 4 00:00:00.000 0Nt time time Time TimeSpan


There is no string datatype. The nearest equivalent to a string is a symbol, or a char vector. A reference to a string should be understood as referring to a char vector.


A back tick ` followed by a series of characters represents a symbol, which is not the same as a string.

q)`symbol ~ "symbol"
A back tick without characters after it represents the empty symbol: `.

Cast string to symbol

The empty symbol can be used with cast to cast a string into a symbol, creating symbols whose names could not otherwise be written, such as symbols containing spaces. `$x is shorthand for "S"$x.

q)s:`hello world
q)s:`$"hello world"
`hello world

Q for Mortals


Filepaths are a special form of symbol.

q)count read0 `:path/to/myfile.txt  / count lines in myfile.txt


Note that arithmetic for integer infinities (0Wh,0Wi,0Wj) is undefined, and does not retain the concept when cast.


Arithmetic for float infinities (0we,0w) behaves as expected.

q)0we + 5
q)0w + 5


The guid type (since V3.0) is a 16-byte type, and can be used for storing arbitrary 16-byte values, typically transaction IDs.


Use deal to generate a guid (global unique: uses .z.a .z.i .z.p).

337714f8-3d76-f283-cdc1-33ca89be59e9 0a369037-75d3-b24d-6721-5a1d44d4bed5
If necessary, manipulate the bytes to make the uuid a Version-4 'standard' uuid.

Guids can also be created from strings or byte vectors, using sv or "G"$, e.g.

q)0x0 sv 16?0xff

0Ng is null guid.

q)null 0Ng
There is no literal entry for a guid, it has no conversions, and the only scalar primitives are =, < and > (similar to sym). In general, since V3.0, there should be no need for char vectors for IDs. IDs should be int, sym or guid. Guids are faster (much faster for =) than the 16-byte char vecs and take 2.5 times less storage (16 per instead of 40 per).

Other types

num native
0h list
20-76 enums
77 unused
78-96 77+t - mapped list of lists of type t
97 nested sym enum
98 table
99 dictionary
100 lambda
101 unary primitive
102 operator
103 adverb
104 projection
105 composition
106 f'
107 f/
108 f\
109 f':
110 f/:
111 f\:
112 dynamic load

Enumerated types

Enumerated types are numbered from 20h up to 76h. For example, in a new session with no enumerations defined:

q)type `sym$10?sym:`AAPL`AIG`GOOG`IBM
q)type `city$10?city:`london`paris`rome

(Since V3.0, type 20h is reserved for `sym$.)

Nested types

These types are used for mapped lists of lists of the same type. The numbering is 77 + primitive type (e.g. 78 is boolean, 96 is time and 97 is `sym$ enumeration.)

q)`:t1.dat set 2 3#til 6
q)a:get `:t1.dat
q)type a            /integer nested type
0 1 2
3 4 5

Dictionary and table

Dictionary is 99h and table is 98h.

q)type d:`a`b`c!(1 2;3 5;7 11)     / dict
q)type flip d                      / table

Functions, adverbs, derivatives

Functions, lambdas, operators, adverbs, projections, compositions and derivatives have types in the range [100–112].

q)type each({x+y};neg;-;\;+[;1];<>;,';+/;+\;prev;+/:;+\:;`f 2:`f,1)
100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112h