Overview and description of the C programming language

C is a general-purpose programming language that is very famous for its efficiency, cost-effectiveness of resources, and portability to other software platforms. All these advantages ensure the quality of software development, their speed and relatively small size. Programs written in C in terms of speed can even be compared with programs written in assembly language.

Despite the fact that C does not include built-in components for working with I / O, memory allocation, process control, its system environment allows you to connect object modules with such functions. This is quite enough to develop software of absolutely any level, both small programs and a complex of complex software systems.

C language features allow you to make programs independent of the operating system or platform.

The most important features of the C programming language are:

  • Providing a complete set of structured programming statements
  • A large set of operations, including operations of direct translation into machine code
  • Support for pointers to variables and functions

C pointers allow you to create pointers and reference objects in the same way that a computer does. Pointer arithmetic accesses and manipulates memory addresses. C has a preprocessor for processing text files before compilation. The preprocessor can be used for any text files.

Thus, C is a flexible programming language that allows you to write high-quality software products with high speed.


C programs use many characters and many representable characters. A lot of characters are letters, numbers, punctuation marks. The combination of these symbols creates language constructs. The set of representable characters is a subset of the set of characters consisting of all letters, numbers, characters that can be represented as graphically separate characters.

C program code can contain only characters that are defined for many characters. Only comments, character constants and string literals can contain any character. Other, incorrectly used characters indicate an error for the C compiler, which it will report.

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Letters and numbers

The set of C symbols includes small and large letters of the English alphabet and 10 Arabic numerals:

uppercase English letters: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRTUV WXYZ
small english letters: abcdefghijklmnopqrtuv wxyz
decimal arabic numerals: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Numbers and letters are used to name keywords, constants, identifiers.

Space characters

The C language includes white space characters – spaces, line feed, tab, new page, carriage return, vertical tab, new line. Whitespace separates program code characters from each other.

Special characters and punctuation marks
Special characters and punctuation in C are used to perform completely different tasks. They can be used in string literals, comments, constants.

ESC sequences

ESC sequences are special character combinations that are whitespace and non-graphic characters in strings. They are used for actions such as carriage returns and tabs, etc.


Operations in C, as in any other programming language, represent combinations of characters for working with different quantities.

  • Logical NOT:!
  • Bit addition: ~
  • Addition: +
  • Subtraction, negation: –
  • Multiplication: *
  • Division: /
  • Balance:%
  • Left Shift: <<
  • Right shift: >>
  • Less than: <
  • Less than or equal to: <=
  • More:>
  • Greater than or equal to:> =
  • Equals: ==
  • Not equal:! =
  • Bitwise And: &amp;amp;
  • Bitwise inclusive OR: |
  • Bitwise exclusive OR: ^
  • Logical AND: &&
  • Logical OR: ||
  • Sequential execution:,
  • Conditional expression operation:?:
  • Increment: ++
  • Decrement: –
  • Simple assignment: =
  • Assignment with assignment: + =
  • Assignment Multiplication: * =
  • Subtraction with assignment: – =
  • Assignment Division: / =
  • Assignment balance:% =
  • Shift to the right with assignment: >> =
  • Left shift with assignment: << =
  • Bitwise And Assigned: & =
  • Bitwise inclusive OR with assignment: | =
  • Bitwise exclusive OR with assignment: ^ =


Constants are an immutable value containing a number or a string in its value. There are 4 types of constants:

  • integers – decimal, octal, or hexadecimal integer value.
  • floating point is a real decimal positive number.
  • character constants – a letter, number, punctuation mark or ESC character in single quotes
  • lowercase literals – a sequence of letters, numbers, and characters enclosed in double quotes


Identifiers are the names of variables, functions, and labels in a C program. They are created by declaring in the source code the desired variable or method. Identifiers can consist of letters, numbers, underscores.


Keywords are predefined C language identifiers. Names of identifiers, which the programmer sets independently, should not coincide with keywords. The following keywords exist:

  • auto
  • double
  • int
  • struct
  • break
  • else
  • long
  • switch
  • case
  • enum
  • register
  • typedef
  • char
  • extern
  • return
  • union
  • const
  • float
  • short
  • unsigned
  • continue
  • for
  • signed
  • void
  • default
  • goto
  • sizeof
  • while
  • do
  • if
  • static
  • volatile


Comments – are intended to describe the program code. The compiler takes comments for a separate character set and thus ignores any code that may be enclosed within comments.


The C compiler processes the program, breaking the code into groups of characters – tokens. Pieces of code with square brackets, braces, parentheses are tokens.

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