Operators

Operators in C

Operator is a symbol given to an operation that operates on some value. It tells the computer to perform some mathematical or logical manipulations. Such as + is an arithmetic operator used to add two integers or real types.

C language provides a rich set of operators. Operators are classified into following categories based on their usage.

Various operators in C programming

Let us suppose a = 10, b = 5.

OperatorDescriptionExample
Arithmetic operator
Arithmetic operator are used to perform basic arithmetic operations.
+Add two integer or real type.a + b gives 15
*Multiply two integer or real types.a * b gives 50
/Divide two integer or real types.a / b gives 2
%Modulus operator divide first operand from second and returns remainder.a % b gives 0 (As 10/5 will have 0 remainder)
Assignment operator
Assignment operator is used to assign value to a variable. The value is assigned from right to left.
=Assign value from right operand to left operand.a = 10 will assign 10 in a
Relational operators
Relational operators are used to check relation between any two operands.
>If value of left operand is greater than right, returns true else returns false(a > b) returns true
<If value of right operand is greater than left, returns true else returns false(a < b) returns false
==If both operands are equal returns true else false(a == b) returns false
!=If both operands are not equal returns true else false.(a != b) returns true
>=If value of left operand is greater or equal to right operand, returns true else false(a >= b) returns true
<=If value of right operand is greater or equal to left operand, returns true else false(a <= b) will return false
Logical operators
Logical operators are used to combine two boolean expression together and results a single boolean value according to the operand and operator used.
&&Used to combine two expressions. If both operands are true or Non-Zero, returns true else false((a>=1) && (a<=10)) returns true since (a>=1) is true and also (a<=10) is true.
||If any of the operand is true or Non-zero, returns true else false((a>1) || (a<5)) will return true. As (a>1) is true. Since first operand is true hence there is no need to check for second operand.
!Logical NOT operator is a unary operator. Returns the complement of the boolean value.!(a>1) will return false. Since (a>1) is true hence its complement is false.
Bitwise operators
Bitwise operator performs operations on bit(Binary level). Lets suppose a = 10, b = 5
a = 0000 1010 (8-bit binary representation of 10)
b = 0000 0101 (8-bit binary representation of 5)
& Bitwise AND performs anding operation on two binary bits value. If both are 1 then will result is 1 otherwise 0.
0000 1010
& 0000 0101
____________
0000 0000
| Bitwise OR returns 1 if any of the two binary bits are 1 otherwise 0.
0000 1010
| 0000 0101
___________
0000 1111
^ Bitwise XOR returns 1 if both the binary bits are different else returns 0.
0000 1010
^ 0000 0101
___________
0000 1111
~ Bitwise COMPLEMENT is a unary operator.It returns the complement of the binary value i.e. if the binary bit is 0 returns 1 else returns 0.
~ 0000 1010
___________
1111 0101
<< Bitwise LEFT SHIFT operator is unary operator. It shift the binary bits to the left. It inserts a 0 bit value to the extreme right of the binary value.
0000 1010 << 2
= 0010 1000
>> Bitwise RIGHT SHIFT operator is unary operator. It shifts the binary bits to the right. It inserts a 0 bit value to the extreme left of the binary value.
0000 1010 << 2
= 0000 0010
Increment/Decrement operator
Increment/Decrement operator is a unary operator used to increase an integer value by 1 or decrease it by 1. Increment/decrement operator are of two types Postfix and Prefix.
++Increment operator will add 1 to an integer value.a++ will result to 11
++a will result to 11
--Decrement operator will subtract 1 from an integer value.a-- will result to 9
--a will result to 9
Conditional/Ternary operator
Ternary operator as a conditional operator and is similar to simple if-else. It takes three operand.
?:It is used as conditional operator. Syntax of using ternary operator:
(condition) ? (true part) : (false part)
b = (a>1) ? a : b;
will store the value 10 in b as (a>1) is true hence true part will execute, assigning the value of a in b.

Other operators

In addition to above mentioned operator, C supports many more operators.

OperatorNameDescription
.Member access operatorUsed to access the members of structures and unions
->Member access operatorUsed to access the members of structures and unions
*Dereferencing operatorUsed to dereference the value of a pointer variable
&Address of operatorUsed to get the actual memory address of a variable
sizeof()Size of operatorUsed to get the size of a data type

At this point discussing these operators is not possible. I will introduce these operators later in this C programming tutorial series.