Primitive Data Types in C Language

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Data type Definition

The data type supported in a language dictates the type of values which can be processed by the language.

C supports several different types of data, each of which may be represented differently within the computers memory.

Data types are means to identify the type of data and associated operations for handling it. Every variable in C has a data types.


Primitive Data types

Primitive data type is also known by different names such as Basic (or) simple or built in data types in C. Data types basically specify how we enter data into our programs and what type of data we enter.

Primitive data type can be augmented by using the data type qualifiers short, long, signed and unsigned.

The memory requirements for each data type may vary from one C compiler to another.

Given bellow are the primitive data types in c

Integer type

Integers are used to store whole numbers.

In C programming, 4 Bytes memory is allocated for Integer datatype. Size and range of Integer type on 16-bit machine is given below:

Type Size(bytes) Range
int or signed int 2 -32,768 to 32767
unsigned int 2 0 to 65535
short int or signed short int 1 -128 to 127
unsigned short int 1 0 to 255
long int or signed long int 4 -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647
unsigned long int 4 0 to 4,294,967,295


Character type

Char is a data type which is used to represent individual characters. The char type will generally require one byte of memory. A char data type may have the identifiers signed and unsigned.

Character types are used to store characters value. Character data type allows a variable to store only one character.

Size and range of Integer type on 16-bit machine are given below:

Type Size(bytes) Range
char or signed char 1 -128 to 127
unsigned char 1 0 to 255


Floating point type

Floating point data type store numerical values with a fractional portion.

There are two types of floating data types named float and double. These may also have the qualifier long.

Long float may be equivalent to double and long double may be equivalent to double, or it may refer to a separate, "extralarge" double-precision data type requiring more than 8 bytes of memory.

Floating point numbers are essantially signed and it is used to store a real numbers.

Size and range of Integer type on 16-bit machine are given below:

TypeSize(bytes)Range
Float43.4E-38 to 3.4E+38
double81.7E-308 to 1.7E+308
long double103.4E-4932 to 1.1E+4932


Double types

Double data type is also same as float data type which allows up-to 10 digits after decimal. The range for double datatype is from 1E–37 to 1E+37.

Double data types is also used for real numbers.

TypeSize(bytes)Range
Float43.4E-38 to 3.4E+38
double81.7E-308 to 1.7E+308
long double103.4E-4932 to 1.1E+4932


Void data Types

This is usually used to specify the type of functions which returns nothing. We will get acquainted to this datatype as we start learning more advanced topics in C language, like functions, pointers etc.

Void is an empty data type that has no value. This can be used in functions and pointers.

Example:



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