25 Key Differences between C and C++

Michael Harvey
August 17, 2022
 Mins Read

There are several misconceptions that prevail among developers regarding the programming languages, C and C++.The most common is that C++ is an advanced C and one should have in-depth understanding of the latter language before moving to the former one. However, this is just a myth. Enlisted below are the major set of differences between the programming languages, C and C++.Sl.NoBasis Of DistinctionCC++1Nature Of LanguageC is a structural or procedural type of programming language.C++ is an object-oriented programming language and supports Polymorphism, Abstract Data Types, Encapsulation, among others. Even though C++ derives basic syntax from C, it cannot be classified as a structural or a procedural language.2Point Of EmphasisC lays emphasis on the steps or procedures that are followed to solve a problem.C++ emphasizes the objects and not the steps or procedures. It has higher abstraction level.3Compatibility With OverloadingC does not support function overloading.C++ supports function overloading, implying that one can have name of functions with varying parameters.4Data TypesC does not provide String or Boolean data types. It supports primitive & built-in data types.C++ provides Boolean or String data types. It supports both user-defined and built-in data types.5Compatibility With Exception HandlingC does not support Exception Handling directly. It can be done through some other functions.C++ supports Exception Exception:Handling can be done through try & catch block.6Compatibility With FunctionsC does not support functions with default arrangementsC++ supports functions with default arrangements.7Compatibility With Generic ProgrammingC is not compatibleC++ is compatible with generic programming8Pointers And ReferencesC supports only PointersC++ supports both pointers and references.9Inline FunctionC does not have inline function.C++ has inline function.10Data SecurityIn C programming language, the data is unsecured.Data is hidden in C++ and is not accessible to external functions. Hence, is more secure11ApproachC follows the top-down approach.C++ follows the bottom-up approach.12Functions For Standard Input And Outputscanf and printfcin and cout13Time Of Defining VariablesIn C, variable has to be defined at the beginning, in the function.Variable can be defined anywhere in the function.14NamespaceAbsentPresent15Division Of ProgramsThe programs in C language are divided into modules and functions.The programs are divided into classes and functions in the C++ programming language.16File Extension.C.CPP17Function And Operator OverloadingAbsentPresent18MappingMapping between function and data is complicated in C.Mapping between function and data can be done easily using ‘Objects’.19Calling Of Functionsmain() function can be called through other functions.main() function cannot be called through other functions.20InheritancePossibleNot possible21Functions Used For Memory Allocation And Deallocationmalloc() and calloc for Memory Allocation and free() function for Deallocation.New and delete operators are used for Memory Allocation and Deallocation in C++.22InfluencesC++, C#, Objective-C, PHP, Perl, BitC, Concurrent C, Java, JavaScript, Perl, csh, awk, D, LimboC#, PHP, Java, D, Aikido, Ada 9523Influenced ByB (BCPL,CPL), Assembly, ALGOL 68,C, ALGOL 68, Simula, Ada 83, ML, CLU24Level of LanguageMid-levelHigh-level25ClassesC uses structures thereby, giving freedom to use internal design elementsclass and structures

Some more important points about C and C++:

  • C++ is derived from C and is its superset.
  • C with classes was the earlier name of C++
  • A number of C programs can be easily compiled in the C++ compiler
  • All the C operators are valid in C++
  • C++ and C expressions are the same

Understanding the difference between C and C++ and their relative strengths can help companies leverage them more effectively in their software development projects. This knowledge alongside expert help provided software development experts could make C/C++ based projects more successful.

Article by
Michael Harvey

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