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Conditional or Ternary Operator in C

**Abstraction:**

*This tutorial describes the Conditional or Ternary Operator in C with examples*

Conditional operator is related to Simple if condition statement. If the condition is true, a statement will work and if the condition is false, another statement will work. That is, the conditional operator contains a

**if part**and an

**else part**.

It is simple and easy if you remember its syntax.

Syntax:

**condtion ? statement 1 : statemen 2;**

where statement 1 is 'if part' and statement 2 is the 'else part'.

(Don’t forget question symbol (?) and column symbol (:) in between them).

**Let’s learn with an example:**

**void main()**

{

int a = 10;

int b = 20;

(a>b) ? printf("a is greater") : printf("b is greater");

}

{

int a = 10;

int b = 20;

(a>b) ? printf("a is greater") : printf("b is greater");

}

**Here if the condition**

**a>b**is true (the value of

**a**

**greater than b**), then the

**statement 1**[printf(“a is grater”)]will work, that is the statement after

**?**symbol.

If the condition

**a>b**is false (the value of

**a**

**less than b**), then the

**statement 2**[printf(“b is greater”)] will work, that is the statement after

**:**symbol.

Here the value of

**b**(20) is greater than value of

**a**(10). So

**statement 2**will work. So output should be :

**b is greater.**

Sample Output:

**Example:**

*Accept a number and check whether the number is positive or negative using conditional operator.*

#include<stdio.h> void main() { int n; printf("Enter a number : "); scanf("%d",&n); (n>0) ? printf("Positive") : printf("Negative"); } |

__Code Explanation:__

How can we identify a number is positive or negative? If a number is greater than zero (>0) then number should be positive else negative. That is the principle of this program code. Here zero is an exceptional case.

Sample Output:

**Example 2:**

*Program to accept two numbers, and find square of the largest number.*

#include<stdio.h> void main() { int a,b,big,sqr; printf("Enter two numbers : "); scanf("%d %d",&a,&b); big = (a>b) ? a : b; sqr = big * big; printf("Square of largest number %d is %d",big,sqr); } |

__Code explanation:__

In line

**big = (a>b) ? a : b;**

If the condition

**(a>b)**is true, then the value of**a**will assigned to the variable**big**. If the condition is false, then the value of**b**will assigned to the variable**big**. So the variable**big**gets the biggest among given two numbers.Sample Output:

**Example 3:**

*Program to accept two numbers. If first number is smaller than second number, then find their sum. If the first number is larger than second number then find their difference.*

#include<stdio.h> void main() { int a,b,answr; printf("Enter two numbers : "); scanf("%d %d",&a,&b); answr = (a<b) ? a+b : a-b; printf("Answer is %d",answr); } |

Sample Output:

**Example 4:**

*Program to accept a number, if the number is even number, display 'Even Number', else display 'Odd Number'.*

#include<stdio.h> void main() { int num; printf("Enter a number : "); scanf("%d",&num); (num%2==0) ? printf("Even Number") : printf("Odd Number"); } |

__Code Explanation:__

We already learnt % operator in a previous lesson.

**num%2 == 0**means the given number divides by 2 and gets the reminder zero (0). In even numbers, if we divide by 2, then their reminder should be zero. If the reminder is one, then it should be an odd number.

Sample Output:

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