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Pseudo Code in C

Pseudo code in C can be referred to as a simple way or method to write programming code or program algorithm in English. A pseudocode is an informal representation of an algorithm which is free from the programming language (here, C programming language).

It is not an actual programming language, it is just a form of representing the basic concept or logic behind the actual code in C or programming algorithm in C.

The pseudo code cannot be compiled and executed as the conversion of this code into an executable code is not possible. It is just a simple syntax written in English language in order to explain complex programming concepts or short but simple code written for algorithms before they are converted into a targeted or specific program code.

Why Use Pseudocode?

A pseudocode is written in order to simplify the complex programming instructions/code or algorithms into plain english language so that it can be understood by anyone. It is intended for human reading and it cannot be executed directly by the compiler, it has to be converted into a program code before execution.

The pseudo code in C consists of words and phrases that make the pseudo code look similar to the program but not the actual program itself. Pseudo codes are written with respect to a programming language (C programming language in this case), but programming language syntax or grammar is not strictly followed.

Benefits of Pseudocode

Before writing the actual code in a high-level language, a pseudocode of a program not only helps in representing the basic functionality of the intended program but also it helps in explaining the intended logic of writing that piece of code.

By involving the writing of pseudocode in our programming habits as the first step, will safeguard against missing any step or information that is crucial for the actual program.

Also, since it is in a human readable language, any non-programmer can read and understand the functioning or logic behind the intended program.

Algorithm vs Pseudocode

An algorithm is a procedure or set of instructions which are followed for solving a mathematical problem or accomplishing a task. An algorithm may or may not be written in a programming language.

While a pseudocode is an informal representation of an algorithm which is free from the programming language.

Suppose we encounter a problem in which we need to find the factorial of a positive number. This can be represented as an algorithm as well as a pseudocode, let’s try to follow this using an example

Algorithm for finding the factorial of a positive number


Step 1) Input the required integer variable, say n

Step 2) Assign value to n

Step 3) Multiply each from n-1 upto 1 with variable n

Step 4) Store the value of n and display it.


Pseudocode for finding the factorial of a positive number

Steps find_factorial (variable or ‘n’)

FOR value = 1 to n
Factorial = factorial * value
DISPLAY value of factorial

END steps

The above information (algorithm or pseudocode can be used to convert the statements or procedure into an actual program code in C).

Program 1: Finding factorial of a positive number in C


int main()
int i, factorial = 1, num; //declaring the local variables

printf("Enter a positive number to find the factorial: ");
scanf("%d", &num);  //taking the user input

for(i = 1; i <= num; i++)
factorial = factorial * i;  //following the logical instruction to calculate the factorial
printf("Factorial of the given number %d is %d", num, factorial); //displaying the output
return 0;

Output of the program:

Pseudo Code in C

Advantages of Pseudocode in C

  • The implementation of pseudocode is easier and it is simpler to understand by both programmer or non-programmer.
  • The pseudocode is easier to write and developing a pseudo takes less time and effort.
  • The modification of pseudocode is easier than programming code or flowchart, hence any changes in programming logic can be easily modified in case of pseudocode.
  • The conversion of pseudocode into a programming language is quite easy as compared to other forms of conversion into programming language. For eg: Flowchart into programming language.

Disadvantages of Pseudocode in C

  • Pseudocode is just an informal representation in the form of text. It lacks graphical or visual representation.
  • There is no proper set of rules to be followed in order to write a pseudocode.
  • Lack of standardization of pseudocode leads to conflicts or communication problems among programmers as each programmer uses their own style of writing pseudocode.
  • Difficult to implement for beginners in programming as compared to flowcharts or other programming tools.


A pseudocode is an informal representation of an algorithm which is free from the programming language(here, C programming language).

It is not an actual programming language, it is just a form of representing the basic concept or logic behind the actual code in C or programming algorithm in C.

It basically makes the life easier for a programmer. The conversion of programming code into pseudocode allows the programmer to share the logic behind the intended program to other programmers or even non-programmers in order to get suggestions, reviews or changes in the logical aspect of the intended program.

Writing a pseudocode before writing the actual code helps in various ways and hence it is a good practise to follow. Every programmer uses the conversion technique to resolve complex logical aspects before jumping directly to the coding part.

The advantages of pseudocodes are plenty but there are drawbacks of using this concept as well. Hence the involvement of pseudocode depends from programmer to programmer.