Difference Between C and C++

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

As we are stepping into the future, everything is computerized and technological advancement is at its peak. It is essential to learn computer languages, be it C, C++, Java, or Python. Apart from being the most useful and advanced languages for almost every field, these are some of the most interesting ones to use.

C and C++ are related languages, as the name implies. But C++ came after the C program. C++ is also a general-purpose language for the C program. This means that the C program is the basis of C++. If you have knowledge of languages like C, then it would be obvious that you can easily start with C++. C is the most accessible language to learn in the program. Once you learn the C++ language accurately, it will be quite easy to start learning other languages. You can learn Java programming or Python after this.

Today, you will get a clearer view of C and C++ and the differences between these languages.

History of C and C++

C was developed between the years 1969 and 1973 by a man named Dennis Ritchie at AT & T Labs. It was designed mainly to be used as a writing language for operating systems for microcomputers since these microcomputers had minimal memory.

C++, on the other hand, was developed in 1979 by Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Labs. C++ was created as an extension of the C language. Since C language was a minimalistic language, he wanted to create something flexible that could provide high-level programming features and yet be similar to the C programming language.

C is an entirely procedural-oriented language, whereas C++ is a procedural-oriented language and an object-oriented language, a combination of both. For this reason, C++ is also called a hybrid language. This means that C++ supports polymorphism, inheritance, and encapsulation, whereas C does not incorporate such features. C++ can do more complex tasks compared to the C language. As it is a middle-level language, and C++ is more of an advanced-level language.

In C language, two functions are used for input/ output and printing commands. They are;

  1. Scanf() – this function in use for input/ output.
  2. Printf() – this function is used for printing commands or output.

In C++, there are also two functions used for input/ output. Yet, they are different from the C language. These are:

  1. Cin – this function is used when you want to take input.
  2. Cout – this function is used when you want to print output.

The syntax of C and C++

C language contains 32 keywords, whereas C++ contains 63 keywords. These are the held words that have a specific reason in the language. These words are constantly written in lower case. They cannot be used for a variable or a function name. Some examples of keywords are:

  • C++: delete, virtual, int, public, catch, try, case, break, and many more.
  • C: goto, size of, while, return, void, const, char, and many more.

You will find numerous keywords just the same in both languages. Thus, C++ is the extended version of C; it consists of many of its keywords and many new keywords are also added.

The security of data in both languages is also very different. A user needs to know whether their data is protected or not. C++ provides more data security than the C language. It encapsulates the data present, which hides the data to ensure that all the data structures and operations used according to the plan are protected from all threats.

On the other hand, the C language does not support this function; it does not encapsulate the data roaming and act as a free establishment. Outside code can manipulate this type of free data.

File extensions in both languages are also different. In the C language, the file extension is represented as C, whereas in C++, the file extension is defined as CPP.

Since C++ is a hybrid language, it supports many features that the C language does not. C++ supports both function overloading and operator overloading. It also provides its users with namespace features and reference variable functionality.

It means that these functions take in different types of data and give out completely different outputs. It ultimately depends on the kind of data that you are putting in. At the same time, the C language supports any of these features. C is a less complex language than C++, so it does not support this function.

C language is a procedural programming language which makes it a function-oriented language. Since it was built to provide low-level access to memory and language constructs that will efficiently tell all the workings of the machinery, it favors the procedure part of the problem more than it favors the objects. On the other hand, due to its object-oriented nature, C++ is known for its object-oriented language. It views all of the issues as things involved in a problem rather than seeing them as a procedure.

C does not support functions inside its structures. Since the language is function-driven, it does not support tasks inside its facilities because this function does not support variables, only types. C++, on the other hand, supports all the parts inside structures.

This is because these functions have variables in them, and we can create all the types of data structures with variables inside the facilities of C++. These variables are ubiquitous in C++ structures.

There are various types of variables and functions that are supported in C++ but not in the C language. One of which we discussed above. Now we know that C++ is a more complex language than C. It supports more variables and functions because it has a more extensive database. Some of these variables and functions are the reference variable, the virtual and friend functions, and inheritance is also not supported by C. This is due to the fact that in the C programming language, we cannot have more than one function with the same name.

From all the above points, we have established that the C language is a subset of C++. And C++ is the superset of the C language.

Some similarities between both the languages

These are all the differences in both languages. But aside from all these differences in these two languages, there are many similarities in them. The syntax of both of these languages is the same. Code structures and compilations are also very much similar in both of these languages.

As we have discussed earlier, almost all the keywords of the C language are used in C++ and perform the same functions.

  • C and C++ both have the same concept of a stack, heap, static variables, and file scope.
  • They both use top-down execution flow.
  • The structure of the primary memory model is very close to the hardware of both * languages.
  • C++ has a slightly advanced grammar library, but the basics are almost the same.
  • C++ and C also use the same statement terminator, a semicolon ( ; ).


By reading the above article, you must have understood the contrasts between the C and C++ programming languages. The two of them are among the main choices for getting started with programming. Henceforth, it is an incredible chance to look over your C and C++ abilities or begin creating them, on the off chance that you haven’t as of yet.

It would be great if we could start first with the C language and then move towards the C++ language, as it will enhance your programming skills from the lowest level to the highest.

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