Home C Programming Tutorial Basic Structure of a C program

Basic Structure of a C program

by Anup Maurya
3 minutes read

In this tutorial, you’ll learn about basic Structure of a C program, Comments, Compilation and execution and Receiving input from the user.

All c programs have to follow a basic structure. A c program starts with the main function and executes instructions presents inside it. Each instruction terminated with a semicolon(;)

There are some basic rules which are applicable to all the c programs:

  1. Every program’s execution starts from the main function.
  2. All the statements are terminated with a semi-colon.
  3. Instructions are case-sensitive.
  4. Instructions are executed in the same order in which they are written.


Comments are used to clarify something about the program in plain language. It is a way for us to add notes to our program. There are two types of comments in C:

  1. Single line comment: //This is a comment.
  2. Multi-line comment : /*This is multi-line comment*/

Comments in a C program are not executed and ignored.

Compilation and execution

A compiler is a computer program that converts a c program into machine language so that it can be easily understood by the computer.

A program is written in plain text. This plain text is a combination of instructions in a particular sequence. The compiler performs some basic checks and finally converts the program into an executable.

Library functions

C language has a lot of valuable library functions which is used to carry out a certain task; for instance, printf function is used to print values on the screen.

printf(“This is %d”,i);

// %d for integers

// %f for real values

// %c for characters

Receiving input from the user

In order to take input from the user and assign it to a variable, we use scanf function.

The syntax for using scanf:

scanf(“%d”,&i); // [This & is important]

& is the “address of” operator, and it means that the supplied value should be copied to the address which is indicated by variable i.

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