Array and Its types in C-Cpp

Array and Its types in C-Cpp

3 min read

An array is a collection of variables of the same type that are referenced by a common name.

Array can be of 3 types:

  1. One-dimensional array
  2. Two-dimensional array
  3. Multi-dimensional array

For simplicity, we can think of an array a fleet of stairs where on each step is placed a value (let’s say one of your friends). Here, you can identify the location of any of your friends by simply knowing the count of the step they are on.

Remember: “Location of next index depends on the data type we use”.

Illustration of array


Arrays are very much useful in a case where many elements of same types need to be stored and processed.

The element numbers in [] are called subscripts or indices.c++ array index numbering starts from 0.

  • Arrays allow random access of elements. This makes accessing elements by position faster.
  • Array have better cache locality that can make a pretty big difference in performance.


A one-dimensional array is a group of elements having the same data-type and same name. Individual elements are referred to using common name and unique index of the elements.


array-name [size] ;

Where size specifies number of elements and array is the with which the array will be referenced.


The general form of any array declaration is as shown below:

 type array-name [size]; 

where type declare the base type(data type of array elements) .The size must be an integer value greater than 0.


 int marks[50]; 

In the following examples we will declare an array named marks which will store marks of 50 elements of integer type.


An array can be initialized in many ways:

  1. Run-time initialization: We can specify the array value at the run time using loops.
int i, num[5];

2) Compile-time initialization:It means specifying the value inside the program. It can be done in 2 ways:

a. By specifying size: When size of array is specified in array declaration.We can add onlylimited number of elements in it.

int num[5] ={2,4,6,8,10};

b. By not specifying size: can be declared without specifying initial size.We can add elements to each index. We can add unlimited number of elements in it as size is not specified.

int num[ ] ={2,4,6,8,10};

Or it can be initialized by other way:

num[0]= 2;
num[1]= 4;
num[2]= 5;
num[3]= 8;
num[4]= 10;

Now, let’s see a program to store marks of 5 students in an array.

void main(){
int i, marks[5];
cout<<”Enter marks of students”;
cout<<”\n Marks of”<<i+1<<”student is”<<marks[i];


Enter marks of students
Marks of 1 student is 60
Marks of 2 student is 98
Marks of 3 student is 76
Marks of 4 student is 59
Marks of 5 student is 90

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