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C Data Types

In this tutorial, you will learn about basic data types such as int, float, char etc. in C programming.

In C programming, data types are declarations for variables. This determines the type and size of data associated with variables. These datatypes have different storage capacities.

C language supports 2 different type of data types:

  1. Primary data types:

    These are fundamental data types in C namely integer(int), floating point(float), character(char) and void.

  2. Derived data types:

    Derived data types are nothing but primary datatypes but a little twisted or grouped together like arraystuctureunion and pointer.

Basic types

Here's a table containing commonly used types in C programming for quick access.

Type Size (bytes) Format Specifier
int at least 2, usually 4 %d
char 1 %c
float 4 %f
double 8 %lf
short int 2 usually %hd
unsigned int at least 2, usually 4 %u
long int at least 4, usually 8 %li
long long int at least 8 %lli
unsigned long int at least 4 %lu
unsigned long long int at least 8 %llu
signed char 1 %c
unsigned char 1 %c
long double at least 10, usually 12 or 16 %Lf

void type

void type means no value. This is usually used to specify the type of functions which returns nothing. We will get acquainted to this datatype as we start learning more advanced topics in C language, like functions, pointers etc.

You can always check the size of a variable using the sizeof() operator.

#include <stdio.h>  
   int main() {
    short a;
    long b;
    long long c;
    long double d;

    printf("size of short = %d bytes\n", sizeof(a));
    printf("size of long = %d bytes\n", sizeof(b));
    printf("size of long long = %d bytes\n", sizeof(c));
    printf("size of long double= %d bytes\n", sizeof(d));
    return 0;

Output :

size of short = 2 bytes
size of long = 8 bytes
size of long long = 8 bytes
size of long double= 16 bytes

Derived Data Types

Data types that are derived from fundamental data types are derived types. For example: arrays, pointers, function types, structures, etc.

We will learn about these derived data types in later tutorials.

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