Data Types in C with Examples


Data Types in C with Examples

There are four basic data types in C language. They are given below along with the number of bytes occupied by them in the computer memory. (RAM)

Data TypeBytes Occupied in RAMValue RangeValue Range in Decimal
char1 byte-27 to 27-1-128 to 127
int2 bytes-215 to 215 -1-32768 to 32767
float4 bytes-231 to 231 -13.4e38 to 3.4e+38
double8 bytes-263 to 263 -11.7e-308 to 1.7e+308


Note that the value range is calculated from the number of bits occupied by the data type. For example, int uses two bytes i.e. 16 bits; from this 1 bit is taken for sign (- or +). So, the range is expressed as -2 to the power 15 to 2 to the power 15-1. (Its decimal equivalent can be calculated by using a calculator but in the case of double, the calculator gives inaccurate answers since they are designed only to handle a small range of values.

Read also, Generation of Computers with their characteristics

The four basic data types in C language are defined as follows

  • Char:- It refers to the character. It can hold one letter and symbol. In fact, the character in c is associated with integers to refer to a letter/symbol as per ASCII( American Standard Code for Information Interchange) that has assigned integer value for all letters/symbols used in programming.
  • int:- This refers to an integer value. This is used to represent the signed or unsigned whole number within a specific range.
  • float:- This refers to a floating-point or real number. It is used to represent a real number like 3.174813 or 4.52e6 with six decimal digits in decimal or exponential form.
  • double:- This also refers to floating-point or real number. It can hold a real number in double precision. A double-precision number is used to represent 12 decimal digits like 3.412587632156 or 4.52145342148e12.

C language has additional data types along with the basic data types to enable the users to declare a variable in an appropriate type to improve the program execution speed and to refer to the largest and smallest numbers possible in programming for science and engineering applications.

Data TypeBytes Occupied in RAMValue Range The range of values referred
unsigned char1 byte0 to 28-10 to 255
short int1 byte-27 to 27-1-128 to 127
unsigned short int1 byte0 to 28-10 to 255
unsigned int2 bytes0 to 216-10 to 65535
long int4 bytes-231 to 231-1-2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647
unsigned long int4 bytes0 to 232-10 to 4,294,967,295
long double10 bytes-279 to 279-13.4e-4932 to 1.1e+4932

Example of C data types

#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
  // Create variables
  int integerNumber = 10;               // Integer number
  float floatingNumber = 10.99;     // Floating point number
  char cahracterNumber = 'E';         // Character
  
  // Print variables
  printf("%d\n", integerNumber );
  printf("%f\n", floatingNumber );
  printf("%c\n", cahracterNumber );
  return 0;
}

Output:-

10
10.99
E

Conclusion:- I hope this tutorial will help you to understand the overview of data types. If there is any doubt then please leave a comment below.


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