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What is a reference variable?

A reference is defined as an alias for another variable. In short, it is like giving a different name to a pre-existing variable. Once a reference is initialized to the variable, we can use either the reference name or the variable to refer to that variable.

Creating references in C++

The basic syntax to create a reference is -

Data type& new variable = previous variable

The newly created variable will now refer to the previous variable.

For example -

int i = 17 // The variable i is declared as 17

Creating the reference of i will be as -

int& x = i // Here x will be called as the integer variable initialised to r

C++ code

Output

What is a reference variable

Difference between Reference and Pointers

References Pointers
We cannot have a NULL reference. The concept of NULL pointers is allowed.
A reference assigned to a particular object cant be changed. Pointers, on the other hand, can point to different objects at any time.
A reference is also initialized at the time of its creation. Pointers can be initialized at any time.





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