role of assignment operator = in variable initialization and C++ shorthands.

Q4. Discuss the role of assignment operator = in variable initialization and C++ shorthands. Support your answer with examples.

Ans. Any variable in C++ is initialized using an assignment statement. Variables can be declared in two manners:

  • uninitialized variable
  • initialized variable

An uninitialized variable is declared and initialize in separate statements. (Remember, a declaration is a statement that introduces a name to a program).

Some examples of uninitialized variables are as follows:

  • int a; a=3;
  • char ch; ch=’a’;
  • float f1; f1=13.1239;

Here a separate assignment statement is required to initialize already declared variables.

An initialized variable combines its declaration and value assignment in a single statement.

For example,

int a = 13;

char ch = ‘a’;

float f1 = 13.1239;

Even in dynamic initialization of variables, assignment statement is part of the declaration.

For instance,

float avg = sum/count;

Therefore, we can say that variables are initialized by means of assignment statements only.

C++ Shorthands

C++ offers special shorthands that simplify the coding of a certain type of assignment statement.

For example,

a = a + 10;

can be written as

a+= 10;

There operator pair + = tells the compiler to assign to a the value of a+10. This shorthand works for all the binary operators in C++ (those that require two operands). The general form of C++ shorthand is

var = var operator expression

is same as

var operator = expression

Following are some examples of C++ shorthands:

x-=10;     equivalent to        x = x – 10;

x*=3;      equivalent to        x = x * 3;

x/=2;       equivalent to        x = x / 2;

x%=z;      equivalent to        x = x % z;

thus, we can say =, *= , /=, %=, +=, -= are assignment operator in C++. The operators  *= , /=, %=, += and -= are called arithmetic assignment operators. One important and useful thing about such arithmetic assignment operators of C++ is that they combine an arithmetic operator and an assignment operator, and eliminate the repeated operand thereby facilitate a condensed approach.

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