9 Declarations [dcl.dcl]

9.2 Specifiers [dcl.spec]

9.2.9 Type specifiers [dcl.type]

9.2.9.5 Decltype specifiers [dcl.type.decltype]

For an expression E, the type denoted by decltype(E) is defined as follows:
The operand of the decltype specifier is an unevaluated operand ([expr.prop]).
[Example 1: const int&& foo(); int i; struct A { double x; }; const A* a = new A(); decltype(foo()) x1 = 17; // type is const int&& decltype(i) x2; // type is int decltype(a->x) x3; // type is double decltype((a->x)) x4 = x3; // type is const double& — end example]
[Note 1:
The rules for determining types involving decltype(auto) are specified in [dcl.spec.auto].
— end note]
If the operand of a decltype-specifier is a prvalue and is not a (possibly parenthesized) immediate invocation ([expr.const]), the temporary materialization conversion is not applied ([conv.rval]) and no result object is provided for the prvalue.
The type of the prvalue may be incomplete or an abstract class type.
[Note 2:
As a result, storage is not allocated for the prvalue and it is not destroyed.
Thus, a class type is not instantiated as a result of being the type of a function call in this context.
In this context, the common purpose of writing the expression is merely to refer to its type.
In that sense, a decltype-specifier is analogous to a use of a typedef-name, so the usual reasons for requiring a complete type do not apply.
In particular, it is not necessary to allocate storage for a temporary object or to enforce the semantic constraints associated with invoking the type's destructor.
— end note]
[Note 3:
Unlike the preceding rule, parentheses have no special meaning in this context.
— end note]
[Example 2: template<class T> struct A { ~A() = delete; }; template<class T> auto h() -> A<T>; template<class T> auto i(T) // identity -> T; template<class T> auto f(T) // #1 -> decltype(i(h<T>())); // forces completion of A<T> and implicitly uses A<T>​::​~A() // for the temporary introduced by the use of h(). // (A temporary is not introduced as a result of the use of i().) template<class T> auto f(T) // #2 -> void; auto g() -> void { f(42); // OK: calls #2. (#1 is not a viable candidate: type deduction // fails ([temp.deduct]) because A<int>​::​~A() is implicitly used in its // decltype-specifier) } template<class T> auto q(T) -> decltype((h<T>())); // does not force completion of A<T>; A<T>​::​~A() is not implicitly // used within the context of this decltype-specifier void r() { q(42); // error: deduction against q succeeds, so overload resolution selects // the specialization “q(T) -> decltype((h<T>()))” with Tint; // the return type is A<int>, so a temporary is introduced and its // destructor is used, so the program is ill-formed } — end example]