C++ Tutorial Index

C++ Tutorial C++ History C++ Installation C++ First Program C++ cin and cout C++ Data type C++ Variable C++ operator C++ Keywords

C++ Control Statements

C++ If C++ Nested if C++ If-else C++ If-else-if C++ Switch C++ Break C++ Continue C++ Goto C++ For loop C++ While loop C++ Do while loop

C++ Functions

C++ Call by Value C++ Call by Reference C++ Recursion Function C++ Inline function C++ Friend function

C++ Arrays

Single dimension array Two dimension array

C++ Strings

C++ Strings

C++ Inheritance

C++ Inheritance Single level Inheritance Multilevel Inheritance Multiple Inheritance Hierarchical Inheritance Hybrid Inheritance

C++ Polymorphism

C++ Polymorphism C++ Overloading C++ Overriding C++ Virtual Function

C++ Pointers

C++ Pointers C++ this pointer

C++ Exception Handling

C++ Exception Handling

C++ Constructors

C++ Constructors Default Constructor Parameterize Constructor Copy constructor Constructor Overloading Destructor

C++ File Handling

C++ File Handling C++ Writing to file C++ Reading file C++ Close file

Miscellaneous

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Passing by the pointer in C++ Free vs delete() in C++ goto statement in C and C++ C++ program to read string using cin.getline() C++ String Concatenation Heap Sort in C++ Swap numbers in C++ Input Iterators in C++ Fibonacci Series in C++ C ++ Program: Alphabet Triangle and Number Triangle C++ Program: Matrix Multiplication C++ Program to Print Fibonacci Triangle Stack in C++ Maps in C++ Queue in C++ C++ Bitset C++ Algorithms Priority Queue in C++ C++ Multimap C++ Deque Function Pointer in C++ Sizeof() Operators in C++ C++ array of Pointers free() Vs delete in C Timsort Implementation Using C++ CPP Templates C++ Aggregation C++ Enumeration C++ Math Functions C++ Object Class C++ Queue Initialize Vector in C++ Vector in C++ C++ STL Components Function overloading in C++ C++ Maximum Index Problem C++ find missing in the second array C++ Program to find the product array puzzle C++ Program To Find Largest Subarray With 0 Sum C++ Program To Move All Zeros To The End Of The Array C++ Program 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Programs to Print Pyramid Patterns in C++ swap() function in C++ Structure of C++ Program Stringstream in C++ and its applications rand() and srand() in C / C++ C++ Ternary Operator C++ Scope of Variables While Loop Examples in C++ Star pattern in C++ using For Loops For Loop Examples in C++ Do-While Loop Examples in C++ Top 5 IDEs for C++ That You Should Try Once Assertions in C/C++ C++ Convert Int to String Continue in C++ While loop Diamond Pattern in C++ using For Loop How to Reverse a String in C++ using Do-While Loop How to Reverse a String in C++ using For Loop How to Reverse a String in C++ using While Loop Infinite loop in C++ Loops in C++ Returning Multiple Values from a Function using Tuple and Pair in C++ wcscpy(), wcslen(), wcscmp() Functions in C++ Auto keyword in C++ C++ 11 vs C++ 14 vs C++ 17 C++ STL (Standard Template Library) Differences Between C Structures and C++ Structures Divide by Zero Exception in C++ Dynamic Constructor in C++ Dynamic Memory Allocation in C++ 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Type difference of Character literals in C VS C++

Character literals in C:

In C, a character literal is represented by a single character enclosed in single quotes, such as 'a' or 'b'. It is of type int. This means that when a character literal is assigned to a variable or used in an expression, its ASCII or Unicode value is used rather than the actual character itself. For example, the following C program assigns the value 97 (the ASCII value of 'a') to the variable x:

#include 


int main() {
    int x = 'a';
    printf("The value of x is: %d\n", x);
    return 0;
}

Explanation:

  • The first statement inside the main function declares a variable x of type int and assigns it the character literal 'a'.
  • The next statement uses the printf() function to print a message to the console, which includes the value of the variable x. The %d is a format specifier that tells the printf() function to treat the following argument as an integer.
  • Finally, the program returns 0, which is a convention to indicate that the program was executed successfully.
  • When the program is executed, it will print "The value of x is: 97" to the console. This is because the ASCII value of 'a' is 97, and as the x is declared as an int, it assigns the ASCII value of 'a' instead of the character 'a' itself.

Output:

Type difference of Character literals in C VS C++

Character literals in C++:

In C++, a character literal is also represented by a single character enclosed in single quotes, but it is of type char. This means that when a character literal is assigned to a variable or used in an expression, the actual character is used rather than its ASCII or Unicode value. For example, the following C++ program assigns the value 'a' to the variable x:

#include 


int main() {
    char x = 'a';
    std::cout << "The value of x is: " << x << std::endl;
    return 0;
}

Explanation:

  • The first statement inside the main function declares a variable x of type char and assigns it the character literal 'a'.
  • The next statement uses the std::cout object to print a message to the console, which includes the value of the variable x.
  • The << operator is used to insert the value of x into the stream. The std::endl is used to add a newline character at the end of the output,
  • Finally, the program returns 0, which is a convention to indicate that the program was executed successfully.
  • When the program is executed, it will print "The value of x is a" to the console. This is because the value of x is 'a', the character itself.

Output:

Type difference of Character literals in C VS C++

In C++11 and later, a character literal can also be represented by a single character enclosed in uppercase quotes, such as L'a', which is of type wchar_t, or u'a', which is of type char16_t and 'a', which is of type char8_t. These types are used for wide character and Unicode support, respectively, giving the programmer the ability to work with an extended set of characters and languages.

Difference between Character literals in C and C++

As you can see, the main difference between character literals in C and C++ is the data type they are represented as. In C, character literals are of type int, and their values are their ASCII or Unicode values. In C++, character literals are of type char, and their values are the actual characters themselves. This can lead to confusion and bugs if a C programmer is not aware of this difference when working in C++, as they may expect the value of a character literal to be its ASCII or Unicode value rather than the character itself.

Another important thing to consider is that C++ provides more options to handle characters as wide characters, Unicode, and 8 bit characters which are not present in C. This can be useful in some scenarios where we need to handle characters from different languages or special characters.

Certainly, one thing to note is that in C, the char data type is actually a one-byte integer, which means that it can hold any value between -128 and 127 (or 0 and 255 if it is unsigned). This is why character literals in C are treated as integers, as they can hold any value within that range. This also means that C does not have a distinct type for representing individual characters, and the programmer must use single quotes to indicate that a value is a character literal.

In C++, the char data type is specifically used to represent individual characters, and it is distinct from the int data type. This means that when a char variable is declared, it is specifically intended to hold a character value, and the programmer does not need to use single quotes to indicate that a value is a character literal.

Handling of string in C:

Another important aspect is the representation of string literals in C and C++. In C, a string literal is represented as an array of characters terminated by a null character ('\0'). For example, the string "hello" is represented as the following character array: {'h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o', '\0'}. And the programmer must handle string manipulation and concatenation manually.

Handling of string in C++:

In C++, a string literal is represented as an object of the std::string class, which provides a set of useful functions for manipulating and working with strings. This makes it much easier to work with strings in C++ compared to C. The std::string class provides functions for concatenation, finding substrings, replacing characters, and many other useful operations.

Wide character and Unicode support in C++:

Another important aspect is the handling of wide characters and Unicode in C++, wide characters are used to represent characters from different languages, for example, Chinese or Japanese, and Unicode provides a way to represent a large set of characters that can be used in different languages and special characters. C++ provides support for this through the wchar_t and char16_t, and char32_t types that can be used to represent wide characters and Unicode, respectively.

Conclusion:

In summary, the main difference between character literals in C and C++ is the data type they are represented as.

In C, character literals are of type int, and their values are their ASCII or Unicode values.

While in C++, character literals are of type char, and their values are the actual characters themselves.

 C++ also provides more options to handle characters as wide characters, Unicode, and 8 bit characters which are not present in C.

Additionally, C++ provides the std::string class for working with strings, which makes it much easier to work with strings compared to C, and it also supports wide characters and Unicode.