Constants in C language refer to fixed value that cannot change during the execution of a program. C supports several types of constants:
Number constants consist of a digits. A numeric constants have no decimal point( . ). There are the rule of for defining numeric constants:
1. Numeric constant must have at least one digit.
2. Not allowed comma or space within the numeric constant.
3. In case numeric constant is positive or negative but default sign is always positive.
An integer constant refers to a sequence of digits. The sequence of digits are a three types of integer Decimal integer, Octal integer and hexadecimal integer.
Decimal integer is consist a set of digits 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 (base 10).
Some valid example of decimal integer constants are: 123 65433 6543827
Some invalid example of decimal integer constants are: 07654 First digits cannot be zero 45.34 (.) is illegal character 56#54 (#) is illegal character 67 6 Blank space not allowed 67,6 Comma not allowed
Octal integer is consist only combination of digits 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 (base 8). In octal integer constants, a first digits must be 0.
Some example of octal integer constants are: 0 043 0673 02764
Hexadecimal integer is formed by combination of digits 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and letter A,B,C,D,E,F or a,b,c,d,e,f (base 16).In hexadecimal integer constants, a first character should be 0x or ox.
Some example of hexadecimal constants are: 0xaa 0xA3AD oxa42de ox414322
By default types of integer constant is int. If the value of integer constant exceeds the range of value in type of int (unsigned int or long int). we can also mention the type of constant with l or L (for long), u or U (for unsigned), ul or UL (for unsigned long).
Example 7634 Integer constant of type int 6763u or 7663U Integer constant of type unsigned int 3425ul or 3425 Integer constant of type unsigned long int
Real (floating point) constants
Floating point constants are numeric constants that contain decimal point or fractional part.
Some valid floating point are: 0.4 6.7 200.4 0.00054
There constant can be written in the mantissa and exponent form, which are separated by e or E. The mantissa can be an integer or real number and the exponent can be only an integer. For example number 3400000 can be written as 3.4e6, here mantissa is 3.4 (the part appearing before e) and exponent is 6 (the part appearing after e).
By default the type of a floating point constant is double. We can mention the type of constant with f or F (for float type), l or L (for long double).
For example 4.6e8 floating point of type double 6.4f or 6.4F floating point of type float 4.5l or 4.5L floating point of type long double
A character constant is one character enclosed with in single quotes ( ‘ ).
Some valid character constant are: '4' 'r' '%' 'G' '#'
Some invalid character constant are: 'the' only one character within quotes "f" Double quotes are not allowed h Single quote missing
Every character constant has unique integer value associated with it. This integer is the numeric value of the character in the machine character code. The machine is using American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII). The character A represent integer value 65.
Some ASCII values are: A-Z ASCII value (65-90) a-z ASCII value (97-122) 0-9 ASCII value (48-57)
A string constant is enclosed within double quotes ( ” ). At the end of string, the null character ( \0 ) is automatically placed by the compiler.
Some example of string constants are: "four" "564" "A"
Note “A” and ‘A’ are different, the first one is a string constant which consists of character A and ( \0 ). The second one is a character constant which represents integer value 65 (in ASCII).