The Difference Between C and C++

The Difference Between C and C++
Written by Sagar RabidasNovember 11, 2021
7 min read
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Sagar Rabidas

Software Developer

In this blog, we will discuss the difference between C and C++.

What is C?

C is the basic programming language that can be used to develop from the operating systems (like Windows) to complex programs like Oracle database, Git, Python interpreter, and many more. C programming language can be called a god's programming language as it forms the base for other programming languages. If we know the C language, then we can easily learn other programming languages. C language was developed by the great computer scientist Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Laboratories. It contains some additional features that make it unique from other programming languages.

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What is C++?

C++ is a special-purpose programming language developed by Bjarne Stroustrup at Bell Labs circa 1980. C++ language is very similar to C language, and it is so compatible with C that it can run 99% of C programs without changing any source of code though C++ is an object-oriented programming language, so it is safer and well-structured programming language than C.

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The following are the differences between C and C++:

  • Definition

C is a structural programming language, and it does not support classes and objects, while C++ is an object-oriented programming language that supports the concept of classes and objects.

  • Type of programming language

C supports the structural programming language where the code is checked line by line, while C++ is an object-oriented programming language that supports the concept of classes and objects.

  • Developer of the language

Dennis Ritchie developed C language at Bell Laboratories while Bjarne Stroustrup developed the C++ language at Bell Labs circa 1980.

  • Subset

C++ is a superset of the C programming language. C++ can run 99% of C code but C language cannot run C++ code.

  • Type of approach

C follows the top-down approach, while C++ follows the bottom-up approach. The top-down approach breaks the main modules into tasks; these tasks are broken into sub-tasks, and so on. The bottom-down approach develops the lower-level modules first and then the next-level modules.

  • Security

In C, the data can be easily manipulated by the outsiders as it does not support the encapsulation and information hiding while C++ is a very secure language, i.e., no outsiders can manipulate its data as it supports both encapsulation and data hiding. In C language, functions and data are the free entities, and in C++ language, all the functions and data are encapsulated in the form of objects.

  • Function Overloading

Function overloading is a feature that allows you to have more than one function with the same name but varies in the parameters. C does not support the function overloading, while C++ supports the function overloading.

  • Function Overriding

Function overriding is a feature that provides the specific implementation to the function, which is already defined in the base class. C does not support the function overriding, while C++ supports the function overriding.

  • Reference variables

C does not support the reference variables, while C++ supports the reference variables.

  • Keywords

C contains 32 keywords, and C++ supports 52 keywords.

  • Namespace feature

A namespace is a feature that groups the entities like classes, objects, and functions under some specific name. C does not contain the namespace feature, while C++ supports the namespace feature that avoids the name collisions.

  • Exception handling

C does not provide direct support to the exception handling; it needs to use functions that support exception handling. C++ provides direct support to exception handling by using a try-catch block.

  • Input/Output functions

In C, scanf and printf functions are used for input and output operations, respectively, while in C++, can and cut are used for input and output operations.

  • Memory allocation and de-allocation

C supports calloc() and malloc() functions for the memory allocation, and free() function for the memory de-allocation. C++ supports a new operator for the memory allocation and delete operator for the memory de-allocation.

  • Inheritance

Inheritance is a feature that allows the child class to reuse the properties of the parent class. C language does not support inheritance while C++ supports inheritance.

  • Header file

C program uses <stdio.h> header file while C++ program uses <iostream.h> header file.

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Sagar Rabidas
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made with by Abhishek & Priyanka Jalan