Q7. What is the significance of a reference variable? Explain with example.
Ans. A reference is an alternative name for an object. A reference variable provides an alias for a previously defined variable. A reference declaration consists of a base type, an & (ampersand), a reference variable name equated to a variable name. The general form of declaring a reference variable is
type & ref-var = var-name;
where type is any valid C++ data type, ref-var is the name of reference variable that will point to variable denoted by var-name.
For example, if sum is declared as a reference variable for a variable total, then both sum and total represent the same variable and can be used interchangeably. Following program segment illustrates it:
int &sum = total;
total = 100;
cout,,”Sum = “<<sum<<”\n”;
cout<<”Total = “<<total<<”\n”;
The output of above program segment will be as follows:
Sum = 100
Total = 100
Both the variables refer to the same data object in the memory, thus, print the same value.