Operators in C

Operators in C

One of the most important features of C is that it has a very rich set of built in operators including arithmetic, relational, logical, and bitwise operators.
An operator can be any symbol like + - * / that specifies what operation need to be performed on the data.
For ex: + indicates addition operation
* indicates multiplication operation
An operand can be a constant or a variable.
An expression is combination of operands and operators that reduces to a single value.
For ex: Consider the following expression a + b here a and b are operands, while + is an operator.

Types of C operators

C language offers many types of operators.

  • Arithmetic operators.
  • Assignment operators.
  • Relational operators.
  • Logical operators.
  • Bit wise operators.
  • Conditional operators (ternary operators).
  • Increment/decrement operators.
  • Special operators.

Arithmetic Operators

An arithmetic operator performs mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction and multiplication on numerical values (constants and variables).

Operator Description
%Modulus (Remainder )

Assignment Operators in C

An assignment operator is used for assigning a value to a variable. The most common assignment operator is =

It assign the value from right to left side variable.

Operator Description Explanation
=Simple Equal C = A + B will assign the value of A + B to C
+=Add & assignment C += A is equivalent to C = C + A
-=Subtract & assignment C -= A is equivalent to C = C - A
*=Multiply & assignment C *= A is equivalent to C = C * A
/=Divide & assignment C /= A is equivalent to C = C / A
%=Modulus & assignment C %= A is equivalent to C = C % A

Relational Operators in C

A relational operator checks the relationship between two operands. If the relation is true, it returns 1; if the relation is false, it returns value 0.

Relational operators are used in decision making and loops.

Operator Description
>greater than 
<less than 
>=greater than or equal to 
<=less than or equal to 
==equal to 
!=not equal to 

Logical Operators in C

Logical operators are used to combine two or more condition for building complex expression.

Operator Operator NameDescription
&&ANDLogical AND. True only if all operands are true
||ORLogical OR. True only if either one operand is true
!NOTLogical NOT. True only if the operand is 0

Increment and Decrement Operators in C

Increment operators are used to increase the value of the variable by one and decrement operators are used to decrease the value of the variable by one in C programs.

Type of Increment Operator

  • Pre increment/decrement Operator (++a, --a)
  • Post increment/decrement Operator (a++, a--)
In pre increment / decrement first increment/decrement the value of variable and then used inside the expression (initialize into another variable)
In post-increment / decrement first value of variable is used in the expression (initialize into another variable) and then increment / decrement the value of variable.

Conditional Operator in C

The conditional operator (? :) is a ternary operator. This operator needs 3 operands to perform the operation.


Variable = <test expression> ? <expression 1> : <expression 2>


<test expression> ? <expression 1> : <expression 2>

The conditional operator works as follows:

 Test Expression is Condition

 Expression 1 is Statement Followed if Condition is True

 Expression 2 is Statement Followed if Condition is False

Example 1:

int num1=10,num2=20,max;
printf("Max is %d",max);

The output is:

max is 20

Example 2:

int num=45;
(num%2==0)?printf("Number is Even"):printf("Number is Odd");

The Output is:

Number is Odd

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