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C++ Syntax


C++ Syntax

Let's break up the following code to understand it better:

Example

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
  cout << "Hello World!";
  return 0;
}
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Example explained

Line 1: #include <iostream> is a header file library that lets us work with input and output objects, such as cout (used in line 5). Header files add functionality to C++ programs.

Line 2: using namespace std means that we can use names for objects and variables from the standard library.

Don't worry if you don't understand how #include <iostream> and using namespace std works. Just think of it as something that (almost) always appears in your program.

Line 3: A blank line. C++ ignores white space.

Line 4: Another thing that always appear in a C++ program, is int main(). This is called a function. Any code inside its curly brackets {} will be executed.

Line 5: cout (pronounced "see-out") is an object used together with the insertion operator (<<) to output/print text. In our example it will output "Hello World".

Note: Every C++ statement ends with a semicolon ;.

Note: The body of int main() could also been written as:
int main () { cout << "Hello World! "; return 0; }

Remember: The compiler ignores white spaces. However, multiple lines makes the code more readable.

Line 6: return 0 ends the main function.

Line 7: Do not forget to add the closing curly bracket } to actually end the main function.


Omitting Namespace

You might see some C++ programs that runs without the standard namespace library. The using namespace std line can be omitted and replaced with the std keyword, followed by the :: operator for some objects:

Example

#include <iostream>

int main() {
  std::cout << "Hello World!";
  return 0;
}
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It is up to you if you want to include the standard namespace library or not.