What Is Structure Data Type in C Programming?


Larry Thompson

What Is Structure Data Type in C Programming?

In C programming, a structure is a user-defined data type that allows you to combine different data types into a single entity. It is used to represent a collection of related information that can be accessed and manipulated as a single unit.

Defining a Structure

To define a structure in C, you use the struct keyword followed by the name of the structure and the list of member variables enclosed in curly braces:

        struct student {
            int id;
            char name[50];
            float gpa;

In this example, we have defined a structure called student with three member variables: id, name, and gpa. The id variable is an integer, the name variable is an array of characters (string), and the gpa variable is a floating-point number.

Accessing Structure Members

To access the members of a structure, you use the dot (.) operator:

        struct student s;
        s.id = 1;
        strcpy(s.name, "John Doe");
        s.gpa = 3.8;
        printf("Student ID: %d\n", s.id);
        printf("Name: %s\n", s.name);
        printf("GPA: %.2f\n", s.gpa);

In this example, we create an instance of the student structure called ‘s’. We then assign values to its member variables and print them using the printf function.

Nesting Structures

You can also nest structures within other structures to represent more complex data:

        struct date {
            int day;
            int month;
            int year;
        struct person {
            char name[50];
            struct date birthdate;

In this example, we define a structure called date with three member variables: day, month, and year. We then define another structure called person with a member variable called birthdate, which is of type date.

Using Structures in Functions

You can pass structures to functions as arguments or return them from functions. Here’s an example of a function that takes a structure as an argument:

        void printStudent(struct student s) {
            printf("Student ID: %d\n", s.id);
            printf("Name: %s\n", s.name);
            printf("GPA: %.gpa);

In this example, the function printStudent() takes a structure of type student as an argument and prints its member variables.

In conclusion,

A structure data type in C programming allows you to organize related data into a single entity. It provides a way to represent complex data structures and enables you to perform operations on them efficiently. By understanding how to define, access, and use structures in C, you can enhance the modularity and readability of your programs.

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