Difference Between C and C++

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Difference Between-C and C++

With emerging technologies, computers are gaining more popularity, day in and out. One of the major portions of these advancements is the programming languages that enable professionals to invent new tech platforms, features and possibilities in the domain. These languages can be described as a set of rules or vocabulary to perform a particular task. Some of the popular programming languages include C, C++, JAVA, Python, etc. High-level or third-generation programming languages are the ones with heavy abstraction implemented for the user. The common question which revolves in the mind of every Computer Science Engineering aspirant is what’s the difference between both languages. To understand the same, read our exclusive blog!


Developed by Dennis Ritchie in 1972, C is considered the root of several high-level programming languages such as Java, C#, and Javascript. The language was initially designed to create programs for the Unix Operating System.

Being an essential part of the Engineering Syllabus, C++ is yet another high-end programming language, which is an upgraded version of the C Programming language. It was developed by Bjarne Stroustrup in the year 1979. It is also referred to as “C with Classes” during its development period.

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What is C?

C is a structural or procedural programming language created at Bell Laboratories in 1972 by Computer Scientist Dennis Ritchie. It is a fundamental programming language that can be used to create everything from an operating system like Windows or Apple OS X to complex programs like Oracle Database, MySQL, Adobe, Python interpreter, Git, and so on. It does not support Objects or Classes because it is a procedural language.

Because of its execution speed, simplicity, and versatility, C language has grown in popularity. It served as the foundation for many other programming languages. If a user learns this langauge, they can easily learn all other programming languages. Because it is a case-sensitive language, tiny and capital letters are treated differently.

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Features of C Language

  • Procedural or Structural Language: Every program follows a specific flow to run the code, and it is a procedural programming language, which means it splits the code into smaller modules to reduce the program’s complexity.
  • Dynamic Memory Allocation: It supports dynamic memory allocation, which means that memory can be allocated while the program is running. It is useful for programmers because they are unaware of the amount of space or memory required when running the code.
  • Simple and Portable: It is the chosen programming language for beginners because it serves as the foundation for many other languages. It is straightforward and simple to grasp. It is also a machine-independent language, which means you may create code on one platform and execute it on another for changes or upgrades.
  • Rich in Library: It has a large library of built-in and user-defined functions that allow programmers to easily run simple and better code. It includes a wide number of libraries that can be used as needed.
  • Speed: In addition to its simplicity and portability, it boasts a faster execution speed than other programming languages like Java and Python.

Applications of C Language

The following are the top five applications of the C programming language:

  • System Programming: Because of its efficiency and low-level programming structures, it is extensively used for designing operating systems, device drivers, and other system applications.
  • Embedded Systems: It is frequently used to create firmware and embedded systems such as microcontrollers, routers, and Internet of Things devices.
  • It is frequently used for the development of compilers and other programming tools due to its versatility and ability to build efficient code.
  • Graphics and gaming: Because of its performance and low-level access to hardware, It is frequently used for developing graphics and gaming applications.
  • Database Systems: Because of its ability to communicate with hardware and low-level structures, it is frequently used for designing database management systems such as MySQL and PostgreSQL.

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What is C++?

C++, or “C with Classes,” is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language. In 1979, Bjarne Stroustrup created this language. Because it supports both procedural and object-oriented programming languages, it is a multi-paradigm programming language. C++ has the C programming language property, as well as classes and objects for user-defined data types. C++ is utilized in graphics programs, operating systems, smartwatches, game development, cloud-distributed systems, compilers, and other similar applications.

It is now used by leading tech companies like as Google, Meta, Amazon, and many others. It is now not only an extension of the C programming language, but it has also become a popular and in-demand programming language due to its recent update and high performance.

Features of C++ Language

  • It is an object-oriented language, which implies it features properties such as classes, objects, polymorphism, inheritance, encapsulation, abstraction, data hiding, and so on. OOPs, aid in issue solving by preventing data duplication and ensuring code flexibility.
  • It is a compiler-based programming language, which implies that its applications must be compiled before they can be run; this is why it is faster than Java and Python.
  • Dynamic Memory Allocation: Memory in C++ can be allocated dynamically, that is, during runtime. Most of the time, the programmer is unaware of how much memory is required to hold the specific information in the defined variable, hence the size of the required memory can be defined at run time.
  • Fast and Powerful: C++ is quick and powerful since it is a compiler-based language. It also has many built-in functions, data types, and other features that make it a powerful language and the programmer’s first option.
  • Additional characteristics: Because it s an extension of the C programming language, it has all of C’s characteristics, such as portability, a rich library, structured programming, pointers, memory management, and so on.

Applications of C++ Language

The following are the top five applications of the C++ programming language:

  • Game Development: Because of its ability to directly access hardware and support for object-oriented programming, it is commonly used for making high-performance and complicated games.
  • Operating Systems: Because of its ability to connect with hardware and low-level constructs, it is frequently utilized in the development of operating systems.
  • Because of its support for encapsulation, inheritance, and polymorphism, it is frequently used for designing large-scale enterprise applications such as banking systems.
  • Graphics & Multimedia: Because of its efficiency and low-level access to hardware, it is frequently used for developing graphics and multimedia applications such as 3D modelling and video editing software.
  • Scientific Computing: Because of its ability to handle complicated computations effectively, this language is frequently used for constructing scientific computing applications such as numerical simulations and modelling.

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Understanding the Difference between C and C++

Both these languages are a part of the Basic Computer course list. But how does one decide which one of these is a better option? Below is a table showcasing the differences between the two:

Type of languageIs a function-driven languageIs an Object driven language
Programming ParadigmFollows Procedural programming ParadigmFollows a combination of both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigm
Special FeaturesFeatures like encapsulation, polymorphism etc are not availableIncorporates features like data encapsulation, polymorphism, inheritance
Data and function Data and functions are separatedData and functions are encapsulated together in the form of an object
Data TypesSupports built-in datatypes Supports built-in and user-defined datatypes
ClassesDoes not support ClassesSupports Classes
Exception HandlingNo native support for exception handlingSupports exception handling (using try-catch)
StructuresOnly variables could be defined inside structuresVariables and functions both can be defined inside structures
NamespacesNo support for NamespaceSupports Namespace
Functional OverloadingNo support for a function or operator overloadingSupports function and operator overloading
Information HidingDoes not support Information HidingSupports information Hiding (using encapsulation)
Programming StatureThe emphasis during programming is on Functions or ProceduresThe emphasis during programming is on data
Style of ProgrammingSupports K&R-style and Stroustrup-style of a function definitionSupports Stroustrup-style of a function definition
Dynamic ArraysSupports dynamic arrays on the stack No support for Dynamic arrays 
InitializersSupports named initializersDoes not support Named initializers
Reserved KeywordsSupports 32 reserved keywordsSupports 63 reserved keywords
Tentative DefinitionSupports Tentative definitionDoes not Support Tentative definition
Mutability of Array ElementsSupports Flexible members inside an arrayDoes not support such a feature
Default DatatypeSupports integer as the default datatypeDoes not support such a feature
QuantifiersDeclared live in their own distinct namespaces, therefore quantifiers are requiredstruct, union, or enum is immediately accessible without any qualifiers
Void PointersVoid pointers can be assigned to any pointer type and do not require explicit conversion on an assignment of void pointers to variables of a concrete typeRequired pointer variable to be of type void for assignment of a void pointer
ObjectsDoes not support ObjectsSupport Objects
Datatype ChecksumDoes not support strong data type checkingSupports Strong data type checking
Template FunctionsDoes not support Template Functions and ClassesSupports Template Functions and Classes
Constructors and DeconstructorsHas no support for Constructors and DeconstructorsSupports Constructors and Deconstructors
Function LinkageDoes not support External function linkageSupports External Function Linkage
Member FunctionDoes not support Member functionSupports member functions

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Similarities Between Both Languages

We must first comprehend the similarities between both languages before we can understand their differences.

  • The syntax of the two languages is comparable.
  • Both languages share the same code structure.
  • Both languages are constructed similarly.
  • They use the same fundamental syntax. The majority of the operators and keywords are found in both languages and perform the same functions.
  • Although the underlying grammar of both languages is the same, C++ has a significantly longer syntax.
  • Both have a basic memory model that closely resembles the hardware.
  • Both languages share the same concepts of stack, heap, file scope, and static variables.

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Example Program of C and C++

Addition of two integers:


int main(){
int x, y, sum=0;
printf(“Enter the two integers x and y: “);
scanf(“%d %d”, &x, &y);
// calculating the sum of two integer
sum = x + y;
printf(“%d + %d = %d”, x, y, sum);
return 0;


using namespace std;
void main() {
int a, b, sum=0;
cout<<“Enter the value for two integers: “;
// sum of two numbers stored in the variable sum
sum = a + b;
// prints the sum of two numbers
cout<<a<< ” + ” <<b<< ” = ” <<sum;
return 0;

Latest Update From C and C++

Despite its age, the C programming language remains a mainstay in the programming industry. C has retained its place as the second most popular programming language, with a rating of 13.905%, according to the TIOBE Index for May 2023. This is a modest drop from its rating of 14.3% in 2022, indicating a drop in popularity. However, it is crucial to highlight that C is still widely used and popular, particularly in system programming and embedded devices.

The C programming language has recently received some significant changes. The C23 standard, which was released earlier this year, improved and added capabilities to the language. These improvements include increased parallel computing capability and error handling, which are expected to make the language more resilient and efficient.

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Based on the characteristics and differences between C and C++, we can conclude that it is up to the programmer to decide which language to choose based on the needs of the project.

The C programming language appears to be ideal for low-level programming applications, and it is also a foundational language for novices, but C++ is an extension of the C programming language with the OOP’s concept, making it more practicable for complicated systems, as well as faster and more secure. The demand for the C++ language demonstrates the bright future for developers. Take a Turbo C++ course to help you improve your skills.


Q1. Is C easier than C++?

Ans. C is a practical language that allows for flexible programming. High-level object-oriented programming techniques in C++ make it easier to write complex programs.

Q2. Is C still used today?

Ans. One of the primary building pieces of our software-filled world, the C programming language has been around and thriving since 1972.

Q3. Should I learn C or C++ first?

Ans. No. Both are different languages. It is a prevalent notion that C++ is not a fully defined language on its own and is somehow dependent on C.

Considering the above points, one could conclude that both languages are equally important and fulfil different roles in their respective areas. The addition of major features like Object-Oriented Programming, Exception Handling, and a rich library has made them more advanced. We hope our blog helped in comprehend the difference between these languages. If you are aspiring to pursue a course in the field of computers and don’t know how to go about it, let Leverage Edu sort your problems! Ping us for a free career counselling session and we will provide you with a computer courses list that line with your aspirations!

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