Standard conversions are implicit conversions with built-in meaning.
Clause [conv] enumerates the full set of such conversions. A
*standard conversion sequence* is a sequence of standard
conversions in the following order:

Zero or one conversion from the following set: lvalue-to-rvalue conversion, array-to-pointer conversion, and function-to-pointer conversion.

Zero or one conversion from the following set: integral promotions, floating point promotion, integral conversions, floating point conversions, floating-integral conversions, pointer conversions, pointer to member conversions, and boolean conversions.

Zero or one qualification conversion.

[ *Note:*
A standard conversion sequence can be empty, i.e., it can consist of no
conversions. * — end note* ] A standard conversion sequence will be applied to
an expression if necessary to convert it to a required destination type.

[ *Note:*
expressions with a given type will be implicitly converted to other
types in several contexts:

When used as operands of operators. The operator's requirements for its operands dictate the destination type (Clause [expr]).

When used in the condition of an if statement or iteration statement ([stmt.select], [stmt.iter]). The destination type is bool.

When used in the expression of a switch statement. The destination type is integral ([stmt.select]).

When used as the source expression for an initialization (which includes use as an argument in a function call and use as the expression in a return statement). The type of the entity being initialized is (generally) the destination type. See [dcl.init], [dcl.init.ref].

* — end note* ]

An expression e can be
*implicitly converted* to a type T if and only if the
declaration T t=e; is well-formed, for some invented temporary
variable t ([dcl.init]).

Certain language constructs require that an expression be converted to a Boolean
value. An expression e appearing in such a context is said to be
*contextually converted to bool* and is well-formed if and only if
the declaration bool t(e); is well-formed, for some invented temporary
variable t ([dcl.init]).

Certain language constructs require conversion to a value having
one of a specified set of types appropriate to the construct. An
expression e of class type E appearing in such a
context is said to be
*contextually implicitly converted to* a specified type T and is
well-formed if and only if e can be implicitly converted to a type T
that is determined as follows: E is searched for conversion functions
whose return type is *cv* T or reference to *cv*
T such that T is allowed by the context.
There shall be exactly one such T.

The effect of any implicit conversion is the same as performing the corresponding declaration and initialization and then using the temporary variable as the result of the conversion. The result is an lvalue if T is an lvalue reference type or an rvalue reference to function type ([dcl.ref]), an xvalue if T is an rvalue reference to object type, and a prvalue otherwise. The expression e is used as a glvalue if and only if the initialization uses it as a glvalue.

[ *Note:*
For class types, user-defined conversions are considered as well;
see [class.conv]. In general, an implicit conversion
sequence ([over.best.ics]) consists of a standard conversion
sequence followed by a user-defined conversion followed by another
standard conversion sequence.
* — end note* ]

[ *Note:*
There are some contexts where certain conversions are suppressed. For
example, the lvalue-to-rvalue conversion is not done on the operand of
the unary & operator. Specific exceptions are given in the
descriptions of those operators and contexts.
* — end note* ]

A glvalue ([basic.lval]) of a non-function, non-array type T can be converted to a prvalue.55 If T is an incomplete type, a program that necessitates this conversion is ill-formed. If T is a non-class type, the type of the prvalue is the cv-unqualified version of T. Otherwise, the type of the prvalue is T.56

When an lvalue-to-rvalue conversion is applied to an expression e, and either

e is not potentially evaluated, or

the evaluation of e results in the evaluation of a member ex of the set of potential results of e, and ex names a variable x that is not odr-used by ex ([basic.def.odr]),

the value contained in the referenced object is not accessed.
[ *Example:*

struct S { int n; }; auto f() { S x { 1 }; constexpr S y { 2 }; return [&](bool b) { return (b ? y : x).n; }; } auto g = f(); int m = g(false); // undefined behavior due to access of x.n outside its lifetime int n = g(true); // OK, does not access y.n

* — end example* ]
In all other cases, the result of the conversion is determined according to the
following rules:

If T is (possibly cv-qualified) std::nullptr_t, the result is a null pointer constant ([conv.ptr]).

Otherwise, if T has a class type, the conversion copy-initializes a temporary of type T from the glvalue and the result of the conversion is a prvalue for the temporary.

Otherwise, if the object to which the glvalue refers contains an invalid pointer value ([basic.stc.dynamic.deallocation], [basic.stc.dynamic.safety]), the behavior is implementation-defined.

Otherwise, the value contained in the object indicated by the glvalue is the prvalue result.

[ *Note:*
See also [basic.lval].* — end note* ]

For historical reasons, this conversion is called the “lvalue-to-rvalue” conversion, even though that name does not accurately reflect the taxonomy of expressions described in [basic.lval].

In C++ class prvalues can have cv-qualified types (because they are objects). This differs from ISO C, in which non-lvalues never have cv-qualified types.

An lvalue of function type T can be converted to a prvalue of type “pointer to T.” The result is a pointer to the function.57

[ *Note:*
See [over.over] for additional rules for the case where the function
is overloaded.
* — end note* ]

This conversion never applies to non-static member functions because an lvalue that refers to a non-static member function cannot be obtained.

A prvalue of type “pointer to *cv1* T” can be
converted to a prvalue of type “pointer to *cv2* T” if
“*cv2* T” is more cv-qualified than “*cv1*
T”.

A prvalue of type “pointer to member of X of type *cv1*
T” can be converted to a prvalue of type “pointer to member
of X of type *cv2* T” if “*cv2*
T” is more cv-qualified than “*cv1* T”.

[ *Note:*
Function types (including those used in pointer to member function
types) are never cv-qualified ([dcl.fct]).
* — end note* ]

A conversion can add cv-qualifiers at levels other than the first in multi-level pointers, subject to the following rules:58

Two pointer types T1 and T2 are *similar* if there exists a
type *T* and integer n > 0 such that:

and

where each cv_{i,j} is const, volatile,
const volatile, or nothing. The n-tuple of cv-qualifiers after
the first in a pointer type, e.g.,
cv_{1,1}, cv_{1,2}, ⋯, cv_{1,n}
in the pointer type *T1*, is called the *cv-qualification
signature* of the pointer type. An expression of type *T1* can be
converted to type *T2* if and only if the following conditions are
satisfied:

the pointer types are similar.

for every j > 0, if const is in cv

_{1,j}then const is in cv_{2,j}, and similarly for volatile.if the cv

_{1,j}and cv_{2,j}are different, then const is in every cv_{2,k}for 0 < k < j.

[ *Note:*
if a program could assign a pointer of type T** to a pointer of
type const T** (that is, if line #1 below were
allowed), a program could inadvertently modify a const object
(as it is done on line #2). For example,

int main() { const char c = 'c'; char* pc; const char** pcc = &pc; // #1: not allowed *pcc = &c; *pc = 'C'; // #2: modifies a const object }

* — end note* ]

A *multi-level* pointer to member type, or a
*multi-level mixed* pointer and pointer to member type has the
form:

where P_{i} is either a pointer or pointer to member and where *T*
is not a pointer type or pointer to member type.

Two multi-level pointer to member types or two multi-level mixed pointer
and pointer to member types T1 and T2 are *similar* if there
exists a type *T* and integer n > 0 such that:

and

For similar multi-level pointer to member types and similar multi-level mixed pointer and pointer to member types, the rules for adding cv-qualifiers are the same as those used for similar pointer types.

These rules ensure that const-safety is preserved by the conversion.

A prvalue of an integer type other than bool, char16_t, char32_t, or wchar_t whose integer conversion rank ([conv.rank]) is less than the rank of int can be converted to a prvalue of type int if int can represent all the values of the source type; otherwise, the source prvalue can be converted to a prvalue of type unsigned int.

A prvalue of type char16_t, char32_t, or wchar_t ([basic.fundamental]) can be converted to a prvalue of the first of the following types that can represent all the values of its underlying type: int, unsigned int, long int, unsigned long int, long long int, or unsigned long long int. If none of the types in that list can represent all the values of its underlying type, a prvalue of type char16_t, char32_t, or wchar_t can be converted to a prvalue of its underlying type.

A prvalue of an unscoped enumeration type whose underlying type is not
fixed ([dcl.enum]) can be converted to a prvalue of the first of the following
types that can represent all the values of the enumeration (i.e., the values in the
range b_{min} to b_{max} as described in [dcl.enum]): int,
unsigned int, long int, unsigned long int,
long long int, or unsigned long long int. If none of the types in that
list can represent all the values of the enumeration, a prvalue of an unscoped
enumeration type can be converted to a prvalue of the extended integer type with lowest
integer conversion rank ([conv.rank]) greater than the rank of long
long in which all the values of the enumeration can be represented. If there are
two such extended types, the signed one is chosen.

A prvalue of an unscoped enumeration type whose underlying type is fixed ([dcl.enum]) can be converted to a prvalue of its underlying type. Moreover, if integral promotion can be applied to its underlying type, a prvalue of an unscoped enumeration type whose underlying type is fixed can also be converted to a prvalue of the promoted underlying type.

A prvalue for an integral bit-field ([class.bit]) can be converted to a prvalue of type int if int can represent all the values of the bit-field; otherwise, it can be converted to unsigned int if unsigned int can represent all the values of the bit-field. If the bit-field is larger yet, no integral promotion applies to it. If the bit-field has an enumerated type, it is treated as any other value of that type for promotion purposes.

A prvalue of type bool can be converted to a prvalue of type int, with false becoming zero and true becoming one.

These conversions are called *integral promotions*.

This conversion is called *floating point promotion*.

A prvalue of an integer type can be converted to a prvalue of another integer type. A prvalue of an unscoped enumeration type can be converted to a prvalue of an integer type.

If the destination type is unsigned, the resulting value is the least
unsigned integer congruent to the source integer (modulo 2^{n} where n
is the number of bits used to represent the unsigned type).
[ *Note:*
In a two's complement representation, this conversion is conceptual and
there is no change in the bit pattern (if there is no truncation).
* — end note* ]

If the destination type is signed, the value is unchanged if it can be represented in the destination type (and bit-field width); otherwise, the value is implementation-defined.

If the destination type is bool, see [conv.bool]. If the source type is bool, the value false is converted to zero and the value true is converted to one.

The conversions allowed as integral promotions are excluded from the set of integral conversions.

A prvalue of floating point type can be converted to a prvalue of another floating point type. If the source value can be exactly represented in the destination type, the result of the conversion is that exact representation. If the source value is between two adjacent destination values, the result of the conversion is an implementation-defined choice of either of those values. Otherwise, the behavior is undefined.

The conversions allowed as floating point promotions are excluded from the set of floating point conversions.

A prvalue of a floating point type can be converted to a prvalue of an
integer type. The conversion truncates; that is, the fractional part is
discarded.
The behavior is undefined if the truncated value cannot be represented
in the destination type.
[ *Note:*
If the destination type is bool, see [conv.bool].
* — end note* ]

A prvalue of an integer type or of an unscoped enumeration type can be converted to
a prvalue of a floating point type. The result is exact if possible. If the value being
converted is in the range of values that can be represented but the value cannot be
represented exactly, it is an implementation-defined choice of either the next lower or higher representable
value. [ *Note:* Loss of precision occurs if the integral value cannot be represented
exactly as a value of the floating type. * — end note* ] If the value being converted is
outside the range of values that can be represented, the behavior is undefined. If the
source type is bool, the value false is converted to zero and the value
true is converted to one.

A *null pointer constant* is an integer literal ([lex.icon]) with
value zero
or a prvalue of type std::nullptr_t. A null pointer constant can be
converted to a pointer type; the
result is the *null pointer value* of that type and is
distinguishable from every other value of
object pointer or function pointer
type.
Such a conversion is called a *null pointer conversion*.
Two null pointer values of the same type shall compare
equal. The conversion of a null pointer constant to a pointer to
cv-qualified type is a single conversion, and not the sequence of a
pointer conversion followed by a qualification
conversion ([conv.qual]). A null pointer constant of integral type
can be converted to a prvalue of type std::nullptr_t.
[ *Note:* The resulting prvalue is not a null pointer value. * — end note* ]

A prvalue of type “pointer to *cv* T,” where T
is an object type, can be converted to a prvalue of type “pointer to
*cv* void”. The result of converting a
non-null pointer value of a pointer to object type to a “pointer to
*cv* void”
represents the address of the same byte in memory as the original pointer
value. The null pointer value is converted to the null pointer
value of the destination type.

A prvalue of type “pointer to *cv* D”, where D
is a class type, can be converted to a prvalue of type “pointer to
*cv* B”, where B is a base class
(Clause [class.derived]) of D. If B is an
inaccessible (Clause [class.access]) or
ambiguous ([class.member.lookup]) base class of D, a program
that necessitates this conversion is ill-formed. The result of the
conversion is a pointer to the base class subobject of the derived class
object. The null pointer value is converted to the null pointer value of
the destination type.

A null pointer constant ([conv.ptr]) can be converted to a pointer
to member type; the result is the *null member pointer value*
of that type and is distinguishable from any pointer to member not
created from a null pointer constant.
Such a conversion is called a *null member pointer conversion*.
Two null member pointer values of
the same type shall compare equal. The conversion of a null pointer
constant to a pointer to member of cv-qualified type is a single
conversion, and not the sequence of a pointer to member conversion
followed by a qualification conversion ([conv.qual]).

A prvalue of type “pointer to member of B of type *cv*
T”, where B is a class type, can be converted to
a prvalue of type “pointer to member of D of type *cv*
T”, where D is a derived class
(Clause [class.derived]) of B. If B is an
inaccessible (Clause [class.access]),
ambiguous ([class.member.lookup]), or virtual ([class.mi]) base
class of D, or a base class of a virtual base class of
D, a program that necessitates this conversion is ill-formed.
The result of the conversion refers to the same member as the pointer to
member before the conversion took place, but it refers to the base class
member as if it were a member of the derived class. The result refers to
the member in D's instance of B. Since the result has
type “pointer to member of D of type *cv* T”,
indirection through it with a D object is valid. The result is the same
as if indirecting through the pointer to member of B with the
B subobject of D. The null member pointer value is
converted to the null member pointer value of the destination
type.59

The rule for conversion of pointers to members (from pointer to member of base to pointer to member of derived) appears inverted compared to the rule for pointers to objects (from pointer to derived to pointer to base) ([conv.ptr], Clause [class.derived]). This inversion is necessary to ensure type safety. Note that a pointer to member is not an object pointer or a function pointer and the rules for conversions of such pointers do not apply to pointers to members. In particular, a pointer to member cannot be converted to a void*.

A prvalue of arithmetic, unscoped enumeration, pointer, or pointer to member type can be converted to a prvalue of type bool. A zero value, null pointer value, or null member pointer value is converted to false; any other value is converted to true. For direct-initialization ([dcl.init]), a prvalue of type std::nullptr_t can be converted to a prvalue of type bool; the resulting value is false.

Every integer type has an *integer conversion rank* defined as follows:

No two signed integer types other than char and signed char (if char is signed) shall have the same rank, even if they have the same representation.

The rank of a signed integer type shall be greater than the rank of any signed integer type with a smaller size.

The rank of long long int shall be greater than the rank of long int, which shall be greater than the rank of int, which shall be greater than the rank of short int, which shall be greater than the rank of signed char.

The rank of any unsigned integer type shall equal the rank of the corresponding signed integer type.

The rank of any standard integer type shall be greater than the rank of any extended integer type with the same size.

The rank of char shall equal the rank of signed char and unsigned char.

The rank of bool shall be less than the rank of all other standard integer types.

The ranks of char16_t, char32_t, and wchar_t shall equal the ranks of their underlying types ([basic.fundamental]).

The rank of any extended signed integer type relative to another extended signed integer type with the same size is implementation-defined, but still subject to the other rules for determining the integer conversion rank.

For all integer types T1, T2, and T3, if T1 has greater rank than T2 and T2 has greater rank than T3, then T1 shall have greater rank than T3.

[ *Note:*
The integer conversion rank is used in the definition of the integral
promotions ([conv.prom]) and the usual arithmetic
conversions (Clause [expr]).
* — end note* ]