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C++ Understanding the Difference Between C and C++


Hello everyone,

I'm a new programmer and I'm having trouble understanding the difference between C and C++ from references. I understand that C++ is an extension of C and that it has some extra features, but I'm having trouble grasping the differences between the two.

I've been researching and I think I understand some of the basics, but I'm still having issues putting it into practice. I was hoping someone could help me out by providing some code examples that demonstrate the differences between the two languages.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Hey there @Pony2 (My knowledge is a bit rusty so don't take everything I say as true)

The differences between C and C++ aren't hard to grasp. First, understand that C is a procedural language and C++ is object-oriented. Procedural essentially is a language that works with functions and data - simple. Object-oriented on the other hand, revolves around creating "objects" from classes(which act as templates for objects): the object contains data and there will be methods which act on the data present in the object.

C++ started as an extension of C, but modern C++ is really more of its own language at this point with the numerous features it has - the only similarity it has going for it is that it contains a lot of C's features(such as pointers and memory allocation) and similarities in syntax. Where C++ has templates, generics, and classes, C doesn't have any of this. You'll have trouble using C++ features in C but you won't have trouble using (most) C features in C++.

C and C++ are also used for the same kinds of programs, which is really anything - just beware though that C++ programs are larger in file size and so it's recommended you use C instead if you're working on embedded devices.

Good luck! 🙂
C is a procedural programming language that does not support classes and objects. The language supports modular programming through its rich library of pre-defined functions, facilitating the development of reusable code.

C++ is an extension of C by integrating object-oriented programming (OOP) features, enhancing the language's capability to manage complex software systems.

I think the others here covered it fairly well, but one thing to call out is that a lot of times there are codebases that have a C and a C++ version but are otherwise near identical w/ usage and syntax. You may find yourself also creating wrappers of your own (hint: extern C) to use things in C++. All in all, I started learning C++ with no intention of learning C, but as I got into things I found it was easy to swap between the two. They are very different but you can honestly think of it as 1 learning experience if you really want to... With all this said, I'm coming off a background of many languages so C++ is coming easy and I'm jumping into C & Assembly for fun on the side. If you are just starting off, I recommend being "pure C" or "pure C++" as much as possible so things don't get confusing

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