Conditional Operator in C
The conditional operator is also known as a ternary operator. The conditional statements are the decision-making statements which depends upon the output of the expression. It is represented by two symbols, i.e., '?' and ':'.
As conditional operator works on three operands, so it is also known as the ternary operator.
The behavior of the conditional operator is similar to the 'if-else' statement as 'if-else' statement is also a decision-making statement.
Syntax of a conditional operator
The pictorial representation of the above syntax is shown below:
Meaning of the above syntax.
Let's understand the ternary or conditional operator through an example.
In the above code, we are taking input as the 'age' of the user. After taking input, we have applied the condition by using a conditional operator. In this condition, we are checking the age of the user. If the age of the user is greater than or equal to 18, then the statement1 will execute, i.e., (printf("eligible for voting")) otherwise, statement2 will execute, i.e., (printf("not eligible for voting")).
Let's observe the output of the above program.
If we provide the age of user below 18, then the output would be:
If we provide the age of user above 18, then the output would be:
As we can observe from the above two outputs that if the condition is true, then the statement1 is executed; otherwise, statement2 will be executed.
Till now, we have observed that how conditional operator checks the condition and based on condition, it executes the statements. Now, we will see how a conditional operator is used to assign the value to a variable.
Let's understand this scenario through an example.
In the above code, we have declared two variables, i.e., 'a' and 'b', and assign 5 value to the 'a' variable. After the declaration, we are assigning value to the 'b' variable by using the conditional operator. If the value of 'a' is equal to 5 then 'b' is assigned with a 3 value otherwise 2.
The above output shows that the value of 'b' variable is 3 because the value of 'a' variable is equal to 5.
As we know that the behavior of conditional operator and 'if-else' is similar but they have some differences. Let's look at their differences.