Arithmetic operators are used to perform basic arithmetic operations. Operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and modulo division.
C supports five arithmetic operators.
|Unary plus or binary addition|
|Unary minus or binary subtraction|
|Modulo division (Evaluates remainder)|
Important Note: There is no exponential operator in C programming language. Many beginners considers
^ (hat symbol) as an exponential operator. However,
^ is a bitwise XOR operator.
Unary plus and unary minus
- arithmetic operators exhibits in two variants unary plus/minus and binary addition/subtraction. Unary plus and minus takes single operand and used to alter the sign of a real or integer type.
a = -5; // a contains -5 b = +10.65; // b contains +10.65 c = -a; // c contains -(-5) => +5 d = -b; // d contains –(+10.65) => -10.65
By default, every real or integer type is positive. Therefore, use of unary plus operator is optional. Means b = +10.65; is equivalent to b = 10.65;.
Binary arithmetic operators
Binary arithmetic operator are used to perform basic arithmetic operations. It accepts two operand.
Suppose two integer variables x and y with initial values
int x=10, y=6;
After performing following binary arithmetic operations.
x + y = 16 x - y = 4 x * y = 60 x / y = 1 (Integer division evaluates to integer trimming fractional part) x % y = 4 (Remainder of the integer division)
In computer programming divisions are performed differently. Apparently there are two types of division.
- Integer division
- Real division
C performs integer division if both operands are integer type. Integer division always evaluates to an integer discarding the fractional part.
C performs real division if any of the two operands are real type (either
double). Real division evaluates to a real value containing integer as well as fractional part.
Consider the below division table for a clear view of division in C.
|5 / 2||2||Integer division|
|5.0 / 2||2.5||Real division|
|5 / 2.0||2.5||Real division|
|5.0 / 2.0||2.5||Real division|
Modulo division evaluates remainder after performing division of two numbers. In C programming, we perform modulo division using
% operator. Many texts refers modulo operator as modulus operator.
Consider the below modulo division table for a clear view of modulo division operations in C.
|8 % 2||0|
|5 % 3||2|
|3 % 7||3|
|-3 % 7||-3|
|5 % -2||1|
|-8 % -3||-2|
|2.5 % 2||Error|
|8 % 2.5||Error|
|5.0 % 2.5||Error|
- Modulo division is only possible with integer operands. It causes compilation error with float types.
- Modulo operator returns sign of the first operand.