operator in c

An operator in c language is a symbol that instructs the compiler to perform specific mathematical or logical functions. C language is very rich in built-in operators.

Following are types of the operator in c:

  • Unary Operators
  • Arithmetic Operators
  • Relational Operators
  • Logical Operators
  • Bitwise Operators
  • Assignment Operators
  • Miscellaneous Operators

Unary operator in c

Unary operators are those which have a single operand to perform its task. For example, Assume int a=4;

Operator Description Example
Unary +  Shows the direction of data  +3
Unary –  Shows the direction of data -10
Increment ++ Increases the value of the variable by one a++ = 5
Decrement  —  Increases the value of the variable by one a — =  3
sizeof() Returns size of a variable sizeof(a)= 4

Arithmetic Operator in c

Arithmetic operators are same as they are in mathematics. + is used to add two numbers, – is used to subtract two numbers and * is used to multiply two numbers and so on.

For example, int A= 5, B=10;

Operator Description Example
+ Adds two operands. A+B =15
Subtracts the second operand from the first. A-B = -5
* Multiplies both operands. A*B = 50
/ Divides numerator by de-numerator. B/A = 2
% Modulus Operator and remainder of after an integer division. B%A = 0

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Relational operator in c

Relational operators are always evaluated as true or false. True is 1 and false is 0.

For example, A holds 10 and variable B holds 20

Operator Description Example
== Checks if the values of two operands are equal or not. If yes, then the condition becomes true. (A == B) is not true.
!= Checks if the values of two operands are equal or not. If the values are not equal, then the condition becomes true. (A != B) is true.
> Checks if the value of left operand is greater than the value of the right operand. If yes, then the condition becomes true. (A > B) is not true.
< Checks if the value of left operand is less than the value of the right operand. If yes, then the condition becomes true. (A < B) is true.
>= Checks if the value of left operand is greater than or equal to the value of the right operand. If yes, then the condition becomes true. (A >= B) is not true.
<= Checks if the value of left operand is less than or equal to the value of the right operand. If yes, then the condition becomes true. (A <= B) is true.

Logical operator in c

Logical operators are those which performs logical operations on operands. For example, assume variable A holds 1 and variable B holds 0.

Operator Description Example
&& Called Logical AND operator. If both the operands are non-zero, then the condition becomes true. (A && B) is false.
|| Called Logical OR Operator. If any of the two operands is non-zero, then the condition becomes true. (A || B) is true.
! Called Logical NOT Operator. It is used to reverse the logical state of its operand. If a condition is true, then Logical NOT operator will make it false. !(A && B) is true.

Bitwise operator in c

Bitwise operators work on binary numbers that are bits. You should know how to convert a number from decimal to binary and from binary to decimal.

For example, assume A=60 and B= 13

Operator Description Example
& Binary AND Operator copies a bit to the result if it exists in both operands. (A & B) = 12, i.e., 0000 1100
| Binary OR Operator copies a bit if it exists in either operand. (A | B) = 61, i.e., 0011 1101
^ Binary XOR Operator copies the bit if it is set in one operand but not both. (A ^ B) = 49, i.e., 0011 0001
~ Binary One’s Complement Operator is unary and has the effect of ‘flipping’ bits. (~A ) = ~(60), i.e,. -0111101
<< Binary Left Shift Operator. The left operands value is moved left by the number of bits specified by the right operand. A << 2 = 240 i.e., 1111 0000
>> Binary Right Shift Operator. The left operands value is moved right by the number of bits specified by the right operand. A >> 2 = 15 i.e., 0000 1111

Truth Table

Bitwise AND (&)

  • 0 & 0 is 0
  • 0 & 1 is 0.
  • 1 & 0 is 0.
  • 1 & 1 is 1.

Bitwise OR (|)

  • 0 & 0 is 0
  • 0 & 1 is 1.
  • 1 & 0 is 1.
  • 1 & 1 is 1.

Bitwise XOR (^)

  • 0 & 0 is 0
  • 0 & 1 is 1.
  • 1 & 0 is 1.
  • 1 & 1 is 0.

Bitwise NOT (~)

  • ~0 is 1.
  • ~1 is 0.

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Assignment operator in c

Assignment operators are used to assigning values to variables.

Operator Description Example
= Simple assignment operator. Assigns values from right side operands to left side operand C = A + B will assign the value of A + B to C
+= Add AND assignment operator. It adds the right operand to the left operand and assigns the result to the left operand. C += A is equivalent to C = C + A
-= Subtract AND assignment operator. It subtracts the right operand from the left operand and assigns the result to the left operand. C -= A is equivalent to C = C – A
*= Multiply AND assignment operator. It multiplies the right operand with the left operand and assigns the result to the left operand. C *= A is equivalent to C = C * A
/= Divide AND assignment operator. It divides the left operand with the right operand and assigns the result to the left operand. C /= A is equivalent to C = C / A
%= Modulus AND assignment operator. It takes modulus using two operands and assigns the result to the left operand. C %= A is equivalent to C = C % A
<<= Left shift AND assignment operator. C <<= 2 is same as C = C << 2
>>= Right shift AND assignment operator. C >>= 2 is same as C = C >> 2
&= Bitwise AND assignment operator. C &= 2 is same as C = C & 2
^= Bitwise exclusive OR and assignment operator. C ^= 2 is same as C = C ^ 2
|= Bitwise inclusive OR and assignment operator. C |= 2 is same as C = C | 2

Miscellaneous operator in c

Few examples of miscellaneous operators in C are given below and let’s assume a variable int a.

sizeof() Returns the size of a variable. sizeof(a), where a is an integer, will return 4.
& Returns the address of a variable. &a; returns the actual address of the variable.
* Pointer to a variable. *a;
? : Conditional Expression. If Condition is true? then value X: otherwise value Y

Operators Precedence in C

Operator precedence determines the grouping of terms in expression and decides how an expression is evaluated. Certain operators have higher precedence than other operators. For example, the multiplication operator has higher precedence over the addition operator.

For example, x = 4 + 2 * 2; here, x is assigned 8, not 12 because operator * has higher precedence over +, so it first gets multiplied with 2*2 and then adds into 4.

Here, operators with the highest precedence appear at the top of the table, those with the lowest appear at the bottom. Within an expression, higher precedence operators will be evaluated first.

Category Operator Associativity
Postfix () [] -> . ++ – – Left to right
Unary + – ! ~ ++ – – (type)* & sizeof Right to left
Multiplicative * / % Left to right
Additive + – Left to right
Shift << >> Left to right
Relational < <= > >= Left to right
Equality == != Left to right
Bitwise AND & Left to right
Bitwise XOR ^ Left to right
Bitwise OR | Left to right
Logical AND && Left to right
Logical OR || Left to right
Conditional ?: Right to left
Assignment = += -= *= /= %=>>= <<= &= ^= |= Right to left
Comma , Left to right

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