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Ternary Operator in c - smartduniya

Ternary operator in c

Introduction to C Ternary Operator

C ternary operator is sometimes called conditional operator or trinary operator because it is a shorthand of combination of the if-else and return statement and has three operands. The syntax of C ternary operator is as follows:

condition ? expression 1 : expression 2

C first evaluates the condition. Based on the return value of the condition the second or third operand is evaluated:

  • If the condition is evaluated to true (1), only the second operand (expresion 1) is evaluated. Then the operator return the value of the expression 1.
  • If the condtion is evaluated to false (0), only the third operand (expression 2) is evaluated. The value of the expression 2 is returned.

The ternary operator can be rewritten as the if-else and return statement as follows:

return expression1;
return expression2;


Example of C Ternary Operator

In this example, we are going to write an inline function that uses C ternary operator to find the minimum number between two integers.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>
* Find min of two integers
* @param x * @param y
* @return minimum value of x and y
inline int min(int x, int y) { return x <= y ? x : y; }

int main(int argc, char** argv) {
int x = 10;
int y = 15;

printf("x=%d,y=%d\n", x, y);
printf("min(x,y)=%d\n", min(x, y));
return (0);


 Output : 


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