The programming languages C and C++ are used to create a variety of things, including operating systems, databases, games, and applications. Although C and C++ sound similar, they have different features and applications. Procedural programming languages like C support classes and objects. On the other hand, C++ is an improved form of C programming that includes support for object-oriented programming.1

What is the C Programming Language?

The programming language C is widely used in many applications and is machine-independent and procedurally or structurally oriented.

C is a fundamental programming language that is used to create anything from operating systems (like Windows®) to sophisticated programs like the Python® interpreter, Git, Oracle® database, and many others. Given that it serves as the foundation for other programming languages. Knowing the C programming language makes learning other programming languages simple. Dennis M. Ritchie created this general-purpose, high-level language to create the UNIX® operating system at Bell Labs. 2 

What is the  C++ Programming Language?

The C++ programming language is a statically typed, general-purpose, case-sensitive, compiled, free-form language that supports object-oriented, procedural, and generic programming. As it combines both high-level and low-level language features, C++ is regarded as a middle-level language. Bjarne Stroustrup created the special-purpose programming language C++ at Bell Labs in the 1980s.  In fact, the C++ language is very similar to the C language, and it can run 99 percent of C programs without altering any code, even though it is an object-oriented programming language, which makes it more structured and safer than C.3

Similarities Between C and C++

Some of the most striking parallels between C and C++ are given below.1,4,5

  • Both languages share the same basic syntax and have a similar syntax. Most of the operators and keywords in C are also found in C++ and perform the same functions.
  • Both C and C++ share a similar code structure.
  • Both of them share the same compilation.
  • Both have a rudimentary memory model that closely resembles the hardware.
  • Both languages share the same concepts of the stack, heap, file-scope, and static variables.

Differences Between C and C++

Here are a few of the most fundamental and evident distinctions between C and C++.1,4,5

  • The concepts of classes and objects are supported by C++, an object-oriented programming language, whereas C, a structural programming language, doesn’t support them.
  • The C language cannot execute C++ code, even though C++ is a superset of C, while C++ can run 99 percent of C code.
  • C++ supports encapsulation, polymorphism, and inheritance because it is an object-oriented programming language, whereas C does not support these concepts, which means that C does not support object-oriented programming.
  • C++ uses a bottom-up approach, whereas C uses a top-down approach. The top-down method divides the major modules into tasks, which are then divided into subtasks, and so forth. The next-level modules are developed after the lower-level modules using a bottom-up methodology.
  • Data and functions in the procedural programming language C are separated, whereas in C++, data and operations are encased together as an object.

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Now that you have learned the similarities and differences between the two, read other such interesting articles like Software Developer vs Software Engineer: How Do These Roles Differ From One Another?, Firmware Vs. Software: How Do They Differ From One Another?, Computer Science vs Software Engineering: What is the Distinction Between the Two Fields?.

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  1. (PDF) Comparing between C and C++. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2022, from 
  2. Anis, A. (2015). THE C PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE. 
  3. (PDF) An Overview of the C++ Programming Language. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2022, from 
  4. Comparative Study of C, C++, C# and Java Programming Languages. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2022, from 
  5. C Vs C++: 39 Main Differences Between C and C++ With Examples. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2022, from