C++ Conditional Operator


title: Conditional Operator

Conditional Operator

Conditional operator is a ternary operator, that is it needs 3 operands.
It returns one of two values depending on the result of an expression
Conditional operator is used to replace a simple if-else statements.

Syntax :

(condition)?(expression-1):(expression-2);

Here, expression-1 is evaluated when condition is true and expression-2 is evaluated when condtion is false.
Similar if-else statement would be :

if(condition) { expression-1; } else { expression-2; }

As an aside, if the expression under the conditional statement is only 1 line, curly braces are not necessary. However, it is recommended to use them to get in the habit.

The above code however can be used to check more than just two conditions in the following way/syntax:

if(condition 1) /* Checks first condition, skips else-if and else { entirely if condition 1 checks out */ expression-1; } else if(condition 2) /*Checks condition 2, only and only if condition 1 { is false, if condition 2 is true the comiler will expression-2; skip the 'else' part and move on */ } else /*Once if and else-if conditions don't satisfy the { compiler will run the expression in else{..} expression-3; because it does not have a condition to check, } part of code can also be skipped if not necessary*/

Hence conditional operator is very handy when you need to write simple if-else statement. It can also be used in #define
preprocessor when similar condition is to be used in multiple places.

For example, to find maximum of two number conditional operator can be used as follows :

#define big(a,b) (a>=b)?a:b int maximum,x=5,y=6; // variable to store maximum of two numbers maximum=(x>y)?x:y; // directly using conditional operator maximum=big(x,y); // using the #define preprocessor defined above as big

Good Luck to all of you

Happy Coding ! 🙂

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