Main differences between C and C++

C++ provides OOP and modern features, whereas C is simple and efficient for systems programming. Discover the main differences between C and C++.


When you decided to update your coding skills from ANSI C to C++, one of the first questions you presumably had was: what are the major differences between C and C++?

Both of them are popular programming languages in the software development industry. They are both powerful and versatile languages, but they differ in some important ways. In this blog post, we will compare the main differences between C and C++, as well as I will discuss some of the key features and capabilities of each language.

The C++ programming language

C++ is programming language derived from C, but it has a lot of additional powerful constructs and features. Bjarne Stroustrup created C++ in the early 1980s to add object-oriented programming (OOP) features to the C language. In general, since the C programming language is a subset of C++, any valid C program is also a valid C++ program.

Differences between C and C++

However, the C++ programming language includes many features that C does not, such as classes, inheritance, polymorphism, encapsulation, templates, exceptions, and the Standard Library. C++ is a more powerful and expressive language than C due to these features, making it a better choice for large, complex software projects.

Another significant distinction between C and C++ is how they handle memory management.

In C, the developers are responsible for manually managing memory by allocating and deallocating memory with functions such as malloc() and free(). This is a difficult and error-prone task, particularly in large software projects.

C++, on the other hand, employs a technique known as automatic memory management, which manages memory for you using smart pointers and other mechanisms. This makes C++ a safer and more efficient memory management language, lowering the risk of memory leaks and other common programming errors.

C++ also has a number of modern features that are not present in ANSI C, such as move semantics, lambda expressions, and variadic templates. These features make C++ a more expressive and powerful language than ANSI C and allow developers to write more efficient and maintainable code.

Additionally, C++ has a rich Standard Library (STL) that provides a wide range of useful functionality, such as strings, containers, and algorithms. This makes C++ a better choice for large, complex software projects that require a wide range of functionality.


To summarize, C and C++ are both powerful and versatile programming languages, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

C is a simple and efficient language that excels at system programming and embedded systems, whereas C++ is a powerful and expressive language that excels at large, complex software projects. Furthermore, modern C++ offers many modern features, making it a better choice than ANSI C.

Finally, the choice between C and C++ is determined by your program’s specific requirements and the type of software you are developing.

Pietro L. Carotenuto
Pietro L. Carotenuto

C++ Software Engineer, Ph.D. in Information Engineering. I like reading and learning new things while working on new projects. Main author on looking for contributions and guest authors.

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