C++ has a rich set of operators. Operators are the term used to describe the action to be taken between two data operands. Expressions are made by combining operators between operands. 

C++ supports six types of operators: 

  • Arithmetical operators 
  • Relational operators 
  • Logical operators 
  • Bitwise operators 
  • Precedence of operators 
  • Special operators 
  • Escape sequence 

Arithmetical operators 

An operator that performs an arithmetic (numeric) operation such as +, -, *, /, or % is called arithmetic operator. Arithmetic operation requires two or more operands. Therefore these operators are called binary operators. The Table shows the arithmetic operators: 

Operator             Meaning             Example             Answer 

+                         addition                 8+5                     13 

-                         subtraction             8-5                         

*                         multiplication        8*5                     40 

/                         division                 10/2                         

%                       modulo                 5%2                     1

 Relational operators 

The relational operators shown in Table 2.3 are used to test the relation between two values. All relational operators are binary operators and therefore require two operands. A relational expression returns zero when the relation is false and a non-zero when it is true.

Operator             Meaning                     Example 

==                         Equal to                     5==5 

!=                      Not equal to                   5!=7 

>                         Greater than                 7>5 

<                         Less than                     8<9 

>=                 Greater than or equal to     8>=8 

<=                 Less than or equal to         9<=9

Logical operators 

The (!) operator is the C++ operator to perform the Boolean operation NOT. It has only one operand, located at its right, and the only thing that it does is to inverse the value of it, producing false if its operand is true and true if its operand is false. Basically, it returns the opposite Boolean value of evaluating its operand. Logical operators of C++.

Operator         Meaning 

&&                 Logical AND 

||                     Logical OR 

!                     Logical NOT

Bitwise Operators 

In C++ programming language, bitwise operators are used to modify the bits of the binary pattern of the variables. 

operator            equivalent                 Description 

&                         AND                         Bitwise AND 

|                            OR                           Bitwise Inclusive OR 

^                         XOR                         Bitwise Exclusive OR 

~                         NOT                         Unary complement (bit inversion) 

<<                       SHL                         Shift Left 

>>                       SHR                         Shift Right

Precedence of Operators

 In case of several operators in an expression, we may have some doubt about which operand is evaluated first and which later. For example, let us take following expression: 

a = 5 + 7 % 2 

Here we may doubt if it really means: 

A = 5 + (7 % 2) // with a result of 6, or 

a = (5 + 7) % 2 // with a result of 0

The correct answer is the first of the two expressions, with a result of 6. Precedence Introduction to C++ order of some operators in C++ programming language.

Precedence of operators in descending order

Precedence of operators in descending order

 Special Operators 

Apart from the above operators that we have discussed above so far, C++ programming language supports some special operators. Some of them are: increment and decrement operator; size of operator; comma operator etc.  

Increment and Decrement Operator

In C++ programming language, Increment and decrement operators can be used in two ways: they may either precede or follow the operand. The prefix version before the operand and postfix version comes after the operand. The two versions have the same effect on the operand, but they differ when they are applied in an expression. The prefix increment operator follows “change then use” rule and post fix operator follows “use then change” rule. 

The size of operator 

We know that different types of variables, constant, etc. require different amount of memory to store them. The sizeof operator can be used to find how many bytes are required for an object to store in memory. 


sizeof (char) returns 1 
sizeof (int) returns 2 
sizeof (float) returns 4 
if k is integer variable, the sizeof (k) returns 2. 

The sizeof operator determines the amount of memory required for an object at compile time rather than at run time. 

The comma operator 

The comma operator gives left to right evaluation of expressions. It enables to put more than one expression separated by comma on a single line. 


int i = 20, j = 25; 

In the above statements, comma is used as a separator between the two statements.

Escape Sequence 

There are some characters which can‟t be typed by keyboard in C++ programming language. These are called non-graphic characters. An escape sequence is represented by backslash (\) followed by one or more characters. The listing of common escape sequences.

Escape Sequence

Escape Sequence 


In C++ programming language, following characters are used as punctuators for enhancing the readability and maintainability of programs.




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