Character arithmetic in C and C++

As already known character known character range is between -128 to 127 or 0 to 255. This point has to be kept in mind while doing character arithmetic. To understand better let’s take an example.

// C program to demonstrate character arithmetic.

#include <stdio.h>

int main()


char ch1 = 125, ch2 = 10;

ch1 = ch1 + ch2;

printf("%d\n", ch1);

printf("%c\n", ch1 - ch2 - 4);

return 0;




So %d specifier causes an integer value to be printed and %c specifier causes a character value to printed. But care has to taken that while using %c specifier the integer value should not exceed 127.
So far so good.

But for c++ it plays out a little different.

Look at this example to understand better.

// A C++ program to demonstrate character

// arithmetic in C++.

#include <bits/stdc++.h>

using namespace std;

int main()


char ch = 65;

cout << ch << endl;

cout << ch + 0 << endl;

cout << char(ch + 32) << endl;

return 0;




Without a ‘+’ operator character value is printed. But when used along with ‘+’ operator behaved differently. Use of ‘+’ operator implicitly typecasts it to an ‘int’. So to conclude, in character arithmetic, typecasting of char variable to ‘char’ is explicit and to ‘int’ it is implicit.

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