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Decision-Making Statements in C

In C, decision-making statements are technology structures enabling programmers to make decisions based on specific conditions or criteria. In C, there are three primary decision-making statements that you can use:

  • If-else statements
  • Switch statements

Conditional operator statements

Each of these statements allows you to make decisions in different ways, depending on the complexity of your code and the specific conditions you need to evaluate.

If-else statements:

The if-else statement is C's most fundamental decision-making statement. It enables us to run one block of code if a given condition is met and another if it is not. An if-else statement in C has the following basic syntax:


For example, if you wanted to check if a number is even or odd, you could use an if-else statement like this:



The number is even

This code will output "The number is even" because 6 is divisible by 2.

Switch statements:

The switch statement is a more complex decision-making statement that allows you to evaluate a variable or expression against multiple possible values. The general syntax of a switch statement in C is:


For example, if you wanted to check the grade of a student based on their score, you could use a switch statement like this:



The grade is B

This code will output "The grade is B" because 85 divided by 10 is 8.5, which falls between 80 and 89, so the switch statement matches the case for "8" and assigns the value 'B' to the variable "grade".

Conditional operator statements:

The conditional operator statement, also known as the ternary operator, is a shorthand way of writing if-else statements. It enables us to analyse a condition and select one of two possible values based on the outcome. The general syntax of a conditional operator statement in C is:


For example, if you wanted to check if a number is positive or negative, you could use a conditional operator statement like this:



The number is negative

This code will output "The number is negative" because -5 is less than 0, so the conditional operator statement chooses the value "negative" for the variable "sign".

Advantages of decision-making statements in C:

Flexibility: Decision-making statements allow you to make your program more flexible and adaptable by allowing you to change the behaviour of your code based on certain conditions.

Control flow: With decision-making statements, you have more control over the flow of your program, which can help you to create more efficient and organized code.

Readability: Decision-making statements can improve the readability and comprehension of our code, mainly if we utilize descriptive variable names and well-organized code blocks.

Disadvantages of decision-making statements in C:

Complexity: While decision-making statements can be very useful, they can also make your code more complex and difficult to understand if used excessively or improperly.

Bugs: Decision-making statements can be a source of bugs and errors if you do not test them thoroughly or if you make mistakes when writing the code.

Maintenance: As your code grows and changes over time, decision-making statements can become harder to maintain and update, especially if they are nested or interconnected.


Overall, decision-making statements in C are a crucial part of programming and can be very useful for creating flexible, efficient, and organized code. However, like any programming construct, they have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to use them appropriately and carefully to avoid bugs and errors. By using decision-making statements in a thoughtful and deliberate way, you can create more robust and maintainable programs that are easier to understand and modify over time.

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