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Execution of printf with ++ Operators


To display ("character, string, float, integer, octal, and hexadecimal values") to the output screen in the C programming language, use the printf() function. We apply the printf() function along with the % d format specifier to display the value of an integer variable.

Take a look at the C statement and determine what will happen.

printf("%d %d %d", i, ++i, i++);

This statement results in undefined behaviour since it addresses both 'i' and 'i++' in the argument list. It is not stated in what order the arguments are examined. Depending on the compiler, the order may change. A single compiler is able to select different ordering at various moments.

There are several printf() statements that can be found, including ones that use the ++ operator. To determine the output of the code, these questions can be found in numerous competitive test problems.

We will study about the behaviour of the ++operator with the printf function in this article.


In this section, we'll take an illustration of that question and attempt to solve it.

In the instance below, three printf() statements could lead to unclear behaviour:

C Code:


2 1
1 1
3 2 2

The printf() parameter is often read by compilers from right to left. 'a++' will be executed first because it is the final parameter of the first printf() expression. 1 will be printed. The second final argument, i.e., would then print 2, though the value has now increased by one. The similar procedure will be followed for the other statements.

Notably, in post-increment, a++, the value is displayed first and then increased by 1 as opposed to pre-increment, ++a, where the value increases by one before printing.

Therefore, it is not recommended to use two or more pre-increment or post-increment operators in the same expression. This shows that this technique lacks a chronological order. Any order of the arguments can be evaluated, and the analysis can be intertwined.

We shall now make an attempt to determine the outcome. T he printf() parameters are typically ordered by right to left by compilers. Therefore, since the first printf() expression's last parameter is a++, it will be executed first, printing 1 before going on to print 2. After displaying the second concluding argument, display 2. Similar calculations are made for other lines. It will first print the value, then increase the value for ++a, and it will raise the value before printing for ++a.

  • Can we use operators with printf() functions?

The printf() methods do allow for the usage of operators.

  • What is the printf function's compile order?

Typically, printf() parameters are ordered by compilers from right to left.

  • What distinguishes i++ and i from one another?

The ++ operators come in two varieties: pre-increment and post-increment. i++ is post increment, meaning that it increments after using the value of i. Since i is pre-increment, it will increase the value of i before using it.


This tutorial has given great detail about how to use C's printf function in cooperation with the ++ operator.

We sincerely hope that this blog post has improved overall understanding of how the printf function executes the ++ operator.

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