Difference between C and C++ Programming languages

C language and C++ languages are two different programming languages. Where C++ is the subset of C programming language. Some people have the misbelief that C and C++ are some languages, which is not true. This article is can provide enough knowledge about C, C++ languages, and the differences between them.


What is the C language?

Dennis Ritchie introduced the C language in the year 1972 in Bell Labs. C is a middle-level language, which has involvement in general purpose applications.  C is also known as a procedural computer language supporting structured programming. It has lasting applications in assembly language, OS constructions, supercomputers, LPC’s, and embedded systems. C has both ANSI and ISO standards since 1989. C is the most popular programming language as it has wider usability and applications in today’s world.

Key features of C

  • Middle-level programming language
  • Simple &Procedural
  • Supports pointers
  • Top-down approach
  • Portable or machine-independent
  • High speed
  • Does not support objects and classes

What is C++ Language?

C++ was introduced by Bjarne Stroustrup, is an extension of the C programming language. C++ is also known as C with classes. It has generic, functional, and object-oriented features. C++ also has a wide range of applications like system programming, embedded, desktop applications, video games, and in servers. It is also an ISO standard.

Key features of C++

  • Simple & object-oriented
  • Mid-level programming language
  • Structured language
  • Platform Dependent
  • Bottom-up approach
  • Rich Library
  • Fast and powerful

Difference between C and C++


Feature C C++
Type of language Procedural language Object-oriented language
Approach top-down approach bottom-up approach
Data security less High
Reference variables not supported supported
compatible with other languages no yes
standard I/O operations scanf() and printf() cin and cout
Variable declaration Should be at the beginning of the function can be at any position of the function
The main() function can call through other functions not possible to call at any point
Enumerations only integer types distinct type
Strings supports only char[] supports immutable string classed also
Structures functions cannot be structure members functions can become structure members
Global variables Multiple declarations No multiple declarations
Data types Allows only inbuilt and primitive data types, not allow Boolean and string types supports all data types including Boolean and string types
Source code Free-formated source code Its source code is the combination of free-formatted and Object-oriented
Keywords supports 32 keywords It supports 52 keywords
Mapping Mapping data and functions are not easy Functions and data can be mapped easily
Virtual functions not supported supported
Polymorphism not supported supported

Hope the tabular form has given enough difference between C and C++ programming languages. Lets, look at an example of C and C++ code to understand the clear difference between C and C++ languages.

C code to print Hello world

#include <stdio.h>
int main() {
   // printf() displays the string inside quotation
   printf("Hello, World!");
   return 0;
Hello, World!

C++ code to print Hello world

#include <iostream>

int main() {
    std::cout << "Hello World!";
    return 0;
// cout displays the string inside quotation
Hello World!


1.Which language is easy to code?

While writing code in any of the language levels of difficulty depends on the type of application. C code can become easy for some sort of applications and writing C++ code for some other applications might become difficult.  While choosing a language one should analyze the pros and cons of it, and then decide on how it helps you in developing the application.

But to generalize C has some simple formatted features whereas C++ is having object-oriented concepts added. Based on this we can say that C is easier than C++. 

2.Is it mandatory to learn C before learning C++?

No, it is not necessary to learn C before learning C++.  So, one can learn C++  without knowing C with proper planning and working accordingly. Here the added advantage is that you can learn two languages completely, as C++ contains C features also. 

3.Which among C and C++ is faster?

It depends upon the type of application we are developing. Both C and C++ lakes the same time if C++ code is written without using Object-oriented programming concepts. 

4.Can a new programmer learn C++ as a first language?

Yes, It is good to start learning the C++ language as your first programming language. It is better to learn coding by investing quality time if you have planned to build a bright career. The only pre-requisite is to have good computer basics. But till learning the basics it is similar to any other languages.

No, As discussed above C++ is having more features than C language, hence it may become tough to learn all the features. Hence, it is advised to learn some basic programming languages like Python or Ruby as a start.


Hope this article helped you in identifying the difference between C and C++ languages. Along with the differences also keep a note of features of both the languages before coding. because C is a procedural language which follows step-by-step process and C++ is object-oriented languages that has to follow some principles and procedures as well.

If this article is helpful for you also visit Differnce between Java and Javascript here.





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