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C++ Data Types

In C++, data types are declarations for variables. This determines the type and size of data associated with variables. For example,

int age = 13;

Here, age is a variable of type int. Meaning, the variable can only store integers of either 2 or 4 bytes.

C++ Fundamental Data Types

The table below shows the fundamental data types, their meaning, and their sizes (in bytes):

1. C++ int

  • The int keyword is used to indicate integers.

  • Its size is usually 4 bytes. Meaning, it can store values from -2147483648 to 2147483647.

  • For example,

int salary = 85000;

2. C++ float and double

  • float and double are used to store floating-point numbers (decimals and exponentials).

  • The size of float is 4 bytes and the size of double is 8 bytes. Hence, double has two times the precision of float. To learn more, visit C++ float and double.

  • For example,

float area = 64.74;
double volume = 134.64534;

As mentioned above, these two data types are also used for exponentials. For example,

double distance = 45E12    // 45E12 is equal to 45*10^12

3. C++ char

  • Keyword char is used for characters.

  • Its size is 1 byte.

  • Characters in C++ are enclosed inside single quotes ' '.

  • For example,

char test = 'h';

Note: In C++, an integer value is stored in a char variable rather than the character itself.

4. C++ wchar_t

  • Wide character wchar_t is similar to the char data type, except its size is 2 bytes instead of 1.

  • It is used to represent characters that require more memory to represent them than a single char.

  • For example,

wchar_t test = L'ם'  // storing Hebrew character;

Notice the letter L before the quotation marks.

Note: There are also two other fixed-size character types char16_t and char32_t introduced in C++11.

5. C++ bool

  • The bool data type has one of two possible values: true or false.

  • Booleans are used in conditional statements and loops (which we will learn in later chapters).

  • For example,

bool cond = false;

6. C++ void

  • The void keyword indicates an absence of data. It means "nothing" or "no value".

  • We will use void when we learn about functions and pointers.

Note: We cannot declare variables of the void type.

C++ Type Modifiers

We can further modify some of the fundamental data types by using type modifiers. There are 4 type modifiers in C++. They are:

  1. signed

  2. unsigned

  3. short

  4. long

We can modify the following data types with the above modifiers:

  • int

  • double

  • char

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