You use the -> (pointer-to) operator to dereference a member of a pointer to an object/struct. You use the . (dot) operator to dereference a member of an object (not a pointer to the object), or a reference to an object. In your example, the operator * is what makes the change, in that it means something like "this is a reference to an object, not a pointer to the object). So, using the member "this" which is a pointer to the currently scoped object, you would use the pointer-to operator (->) such as "this->in", but if you use "*this" (which means a reference to the thing "this" points to), you would do "(*this).in". Confused yet? :-) This distinction between pointers and references is one of the things that causes the most difficulty for emerging C++ programmers.