What is C Language?

C is a general-purpose, procedural computer programming language supporting structured programming, lexical variable scope, and recursion, with a static type system. It was developed in 1972 by Dennis M. Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories to develop the UNIX operating system.

It was mainly developed as a system programming language to write an operating system. The main features of C language include low-level access to memory, a simple set of keywords, and clean style, these features make C language suitable for system programming like an operating system or compiler development.

Why to Learn C Programming?

C programming language is a MUST for students and working professionals to become a great Software Engineer especially when they are working in Software Development Domain. When a student enters the courses like (BCA, B.Sc (IT), MCA, M. Sc. (IT), Computer Engineering) he or she has to learn C language as it provides the very basic concepts executed very near to the hardware level.

           Although numerous computer languages are used for writing computer applications, the computer programming languageC, is the most popular language worldwide. Everything from microcontrollers to operating systems is written in C since it’s very flexible and versatile, allowing maximum control with minimal commands.

There are some advantages of learning C Programming listed down:

  1. Easy to learn.
  2. Structured language.
  3. It produces efficient programs.
  4. It can handle low-level activities.
  5. It can be compiled on a variety of computer platforms.

There are some interesting facts of C language which are given below:

  1. C was invented to write an operating system called UNIX.
  2. C is a successor of B language which was introduced around the early 1970s.
  3. The language was formalized in 1988 by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI).
  4. The UNIX OS was totally written in C.
  5. Today C is the most widely used and popular System Programming Language.
  6. Most of the state-of-the-art software have been implemented using C.
  7. Today’s most popular Linux OS and RDBMS MySQL have been written in C.
#include <stdio.h>
int main() {
                          /* my first program in C */
 printf("Hello, World! \n");
  return 0;

Let us take a look at the various parts of the above program −

  • The  line no. 1 of the program #include <stdio.h> is a preprocessor command, which tells a C compiler to include stdio.h file before going to actual compilation.
  • The line no. 2 int main() is the main function where the program execution begins.
  • The line no. 3  /*…*/ will be ignored by the compiler and it has been put to add additional comments in the program. So such lines are called comments in the program.
  • The line no. 4 printf(…) is another function available in C which causes the message “Hello, World!” to be displayed on the screen.
  • The line no. 5 return 0; terminates the main() function and returns the value 0.

Frequently asked questions

Q.No. 1 Where is C today?

Ans All the system software programming(at kernel side) will use C as it executes faster than other popular programming languages like java. And their main usage that is commonly known is in the field of embedded systems. Also C is best choice when you start programming as it is most basic.

Q. No. 2 What are the key features in the C programming language?

  •  Simple.
  •  Machine Independent or Portable.
  •  Mid-level programming language.
  •  Structured programming language.
  •  Rich Library.
  •  Memory Management.
  •  Fast Speed.
  •  Pointers.

Q.No. 3 Why void main is used in C?

Ans The void main() indicates that the main() function will not return any value, but the int main() indicates that the main() can return integer type data. When our program is simple, and it is not going to terminate before reaching the last line of the code, or the code is error free, then we can use the void main().

Q.No. 4 What are the basic data types in C?

Ans The C language provides the four basic arithmetic type specifiers char, int, float and double, and the modifiers signed, unsigned, short, and long.

Q.No. 5 How do I write my first C program?

  1. #include <stdio. h>
  2. int main()
  3. {
  4. printf(“Hello C Language”);
  5. return 0;
  6. }

Q.No. 6 What is printf () in C?

Ans printf format string refers to a control parameter used by a class of functions in the input/output libraries of C and many other programming languages. … “printf” is the name of one of the main C output functions, and stands for “print formatted”.

Q.No. 7 What is scanf in C?

Ans scanf is a function that reads data with specified format from a given string stream source, originated from C programming language, and is present in many other programming languages. The scanf function prototype is: int scanf(const char *format, …);

Q.No. 8 What are keywords in C?

In C programming, a keyword is a word that is reserved by a program because the word has a special meaning. Keywords can be commands or parameters. Every programming language has a set of keywords that cannot be used as variable names. Keywords are sometimes called reserved names .

Q.No. 9 What is %d in C programming?

Ans %d is a format specifier used to identify by printf, scanf, or other such functions that the operation will be done on a variable having the format of an integer. For example : printf(“%d“,n); //tells to print integer n.

Q. No. 10 What are format specifiers in C Language?

  • Format specifier (character): %c. …
  • Format specifiers (integer): %d, %i, %u. …
  • Format specifiers (float) : %f, %e or %E. …
  • Format specifiers (octal number): %o. …
  • Format specifier (Hexadecimal number): %x, %X. …
  • Format specifier (character array or string): %s.

Click on topics shown below

  1. Tokens in C Language