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Operators In C++ Programming

In this tutorial, we will learn about the many types of operators in C++. An operator in programming is a symbol that performs operations on a value or variable.

Operators are symbols that carry out operations on variables and values. For instance, the addition operator + is used for addition, while the subtraction operator – is used for subtraction.

Operators in C++ can be classified into 6 types:

  1. Arithmetic Operators
  2. Assignment Operators
  3. Relational Operators
  4. Logical Operators
  5. Bitwise Operators
  6. Other Operators

1. Arithmetic Operators

In C++ To conduct arithmetic operations on variables and data, arithmetic operators are employed. As an example,

a+b

The + operator is used to combine two variables, a and b. In C++, there are a variety of different arithmetic operators like:

OperatorOperation
+Addition
Subtraction
*Multiplication
/Division
%Modulo Operation (Remainder after division)
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    int a, b;
    a = 7;
    b = 2;

    cout << "a + b = " << (a + b) << endl;
    cout << "a - b = " << (a - b) << endl;
    cout << "a * b = " << (a * b) << endl;
    cout << "a / b = " << (a / b) << endl;
    cout << "a % b = " << (a % b) << endl;

    return 0;
}

Output

a + b = 9
a – b = 5
a * b = 14
a / b = 3
a % b = 1

2. Assignment Operators

To assign values to variables in C++, assignment operators are employed. As an example,

: Assign 5 to an a

a = 5;

Here, we’ve given the variable and a value of 5.

OperatorExampleEquivalent to
=a = ba = b;
+=a += b;a = a + b;
-=a -= b;a = a – b;
*=a *= b;a = a * b;
/=a /= b;a = a / b;
%=a %= b;a = a % b;
Developer’s Dome
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    int a, b;
a = 2;
b = 7;

cout << "a = " << a << endl;
cout << "b = " << b << endl;
cout << "\nAfter a += b;" << endl;


a += b;  // a = a +b
cout << "a = " << a << endl;

return 0;
}

Output

a = 2
b = 7
After a += b;
a = 9

3. Relational Operators

To check the relationship between two operands, a relational operator is utilized. As an example,

a > b;

  • Here, > is a relational operator that checks if an is greater than b. It determines whether an is greater than b.
  • If the relationship is true, it returns 1, but if it is false, it returns 0.
OperatorMeaningExample
==Is Equal To3 == 5gives us false
!=Not Equal To3 != 5 gives us true
>Greater Than 3 > 5gives us false
<Less Than3 < 5 gives us true
>=Greater Than or Equal To3 >= 5 give us false
<=Less Than or Equal To3<= 5 gives us true
Developer’s Dome
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    int a, b;
    a = 3;
    b = 5;
    bool result;

    result = (a == b);   // false
    cout << "3 == 5 is " << result << endl;

    result = (a != b);  // true
    cout << "3 != 5 is " << result << endl;

    result = a > b;   // false
    cout << "3 > 5 is " << result << endl;

    result = a < b;   // true
    cout << "3 < 5 is " << result << endl;

    result = a >= b;  // false
    cout << "3 >= 5 is " << result << endl;

    result = a <= b;  // true
    cout << "3 <= 5 is " << result << endl;

    return 0;
}

Output

3 == 5 is 0
3 != 5 is 1
3 > 5 is 0
3 < 5 is 1 3 >= 5 is 0
3 <= 5 is 1

4. Logical Operators

To determine whether an expression is true or false, logical operators are utilized. If the expression is true, it will return 1, but if it is false, it will return 0.

OperatorExampleMeaning
&&expression1 && expression2Logical AND.
Only true if all operands are true.
||expression1 || expression2Logical OR.
If at least one of the operands is true, the result is true.
!!expressionLogical NOT.
If the operand is false, then true.
Developer’s Dome

Assume a = 5 and b = 8.

Then,

  • True if (a > 3) and (b > 5) are true.
  • (a > 3) && (b 5) yields a misleading result.
  • (a > 3) || (b > 5) yields true.
  • (a > 3) || (b 5) is equal to true.
  • (a 3) || (b 5) yields a misleading result.
  • The expression!(a 3) evaluates to true.
  • !(a > 3) returns false.
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    bool result;

    result = (3 != 5) && (3 < 5);     // true
    cout << "(3 != 5) && (3 < 5) is " << result << endl;

    result = (3 == 5) && (3 < 5);    // false
    cout << "(3 == 5) && (3 < 5) is " << result << endl;

    result = (3 == 5) && (3 > 5);    // false
    cout << "(3 == 5) && (3 > 5) is " << result << endl;

    result = (3 != 5) || (3 < 5);    // true
    cout << "(3 != 5) || (3 < 5) is " << result << endl;

    result = (3 != 5) || (3 > 5);    // true
    cout << "(3 != 5) || (3 > 5) is " << result << endl;

    result = (3 == 5) || (3 > 5);    // false
    cout << "(3 == 5) || (3 > 5) is " << result << endl;

    result = !(5 == 2);    // true
    cout << "!(5 == 2) is " << result << endl;

    result = !(5 == 5);    // false
    cout << "!(5 == 5) is " << result << endl;

    return 0;
}

Output

(3 != 5) && (3 < 5) is 1, (3 == 5) && (3 < 5) is 0, (3 == 5) && (3 > 5) is 0,
(3 != 5) || (3 < 5) is 1, (3 != 5) || (3 > 5) is 1,
(3 == 5) || (3 > 5) is 0,
!(5 == 2) is 1,
!(5 == 5) is 0

Explanation

  • (3 != 5) && (3 < 5) evaluates to 1 because both operands (3 != 5) and (3 < 5) are 1 (true).
  • (3 == 5) && (3 < 5) evaluates to 0 because the operand (3 == 5) is 0 (false)
  • (3 == 5) && (3 > 5) evaluates to 0 because both operands (3 == 5) and (3 > 5) are 0 (false).
  • (3 != 5) || (3 < 5) evaluates to 1 because both operands (3 != 5) and (3 < 5) are 1 (true).
  • (3 != 5) || (3 > 5) evaluates to 1 because the operand (3 != 5) is 1 (true).
  • (3 == 5) || (3 > 5) evaluates to 0 because both operands (3 == 5) and (3 > 5) are 0 (false).
  • !(5 == 2) evaluates to 1 because the operand (5 == 2) is 0 (false).
  • !(5 == 5) evaluates to 0 because the operand (5 == 5) is 1 (true).

5. Bitwise Operator

Bitwise operators are used in C++ to perform operations on single bits. They’re only compatible with char and int data types.

OperatorDescription(Binary)
&AND
|OR
^XOR
~One’s Complement
<<Shift Left
>>Shift Right
DEVELOPER”S DOME

6. Additional C++ Operators

The following is a list of some more common C++ operators. In coming tutorials, we’ll learn more about them.

OperatorDescriptionExample
sizeofreturns the size of data typesizeof(int); // 4
?:returns value based on the conditionstring result = (5 > 0) ? “even” : “odd”; // “even”
&represents the memory address of the operand# // num address
.accesses members of struct variables or class objectss1.marks = 92;
->used with pointers to access the class or struct variablesptr->marks = 92;
<<prints the output valuecout << 5;
>>gets the input valuecin >> num;
Developer’s Dome

Operators Precedence in C++

The order in which terms in an expression are grouped is determined by operator precedence. This has an impact on how an expression is judged. Certain operators take precedence over others; the multiplication operator, for example, takes precedence over the addition operator.

For example, x = 7 + 3 * 2; because operator * has higher precedence than +, x is allocated 13, not 20, and is multiplied by 3*2 before being added to 7.

The highest-priority operators appear at the top of the table, while the lowest-priority operators appear at the bottom. Higher precedence operators will be evaluated first within an expression.

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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