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How to use break statement in C / C++

In this tutorial, we will learn about the syntax and how to use break statement in C / C++. The break statement is used in loops such as: for, while, do… while and switch..case statement.

Before learning about the break statement, you need to learn the usage of:

Syntax and its working of break statement in C / C++

In the C and C++ programming languages, the break statement is used to exit a loop when it is encountered.

Syntax of break statement in C / C++:

break;

break 01 PNG

As you can see in the image above, when encountering a break statement, the program will exit the loop and execute the statements below the loop.

Break statement in C / C++ with for loop

We can use break statement to immediately exit the for loop in some special cases. See the example below:

Example: Using break statement in C / C++ with for loop.

C++ programming:

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main() {
  for (int i = 1; i <= 5; i++) {
    // break condition     
    if (i == 3) {
      break;
    }
    cout << i << endl;
  }
  
  cout<<"\n-------------------------------\n";
  cout<<"This program is posted at learnnc.com";
  return 0;
}

C programming:

#include <stdio.h>

int main(void) {
  for (int i = 1; i <= 5; i++) {
    // break condition     
    if (i == 3) {
      break;
    }
    printf("%d\n",i);
  }
  
  printf("\n-------------------------------\n");
  printf("This program is posted at learnnc.com");
  return 0;
}

Output:

break 02 PNG

Explain: In this program, we display numbers from 1 to 5. However, the results only return 1 and 2. Because when printing to the value 3, a break statement is encountered, so the loop is exited.

Break statement in C / C++ with while loop

To better understand how to use the break statement in the while loop, see the example below:

Example: Using break statement in C / C++ with while loop.

  • Program to find the sum of positive numbers.
  • If the user enters a negative numbers, break ends the loop.
  • The negative number entered is not added to sum.

C++ programming:

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main() {
  int number;
    int sum = 0;

    while (true) {
        // take input from the user
        cout << "Enter a number: ";
        cin >> number;
        // break condition
        if (number < 0) {
            break;
        }
        // add all positive numbers
        sum += number;
    }
    // display the sum
    cout << "The sum is " << sum << endl;
  
  cout<<"\n-------------------------------\n";
  cout<<"This program is posted at learnnc.com";
  return 0;
}

C programming:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdbool.h>
int main(void) {
  int number;
    int sum = 0;

    while (true) {
        // take input from the user
        printf("Enter a number: ");
        scanf("%d", &number);
        // break condition
        if (number < 0) {
            break;
        }
        // add all positive numbers
        sum += number;
    }
    // display the sum
    printf("The sum is %d\n",sum);
  
  printf("\n-------------------------------\n");
  printf("This program is posted at learnnc.com");
  return 0;
}

Output:

break 03 PNG

Break statement in C / C++ with do...while loop

Also with the above example, we do the do while loop as follows:

C++ programming:

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main() {
  int number;
    int sum = 0;
    do{
        // take input from the user
        cout << "Enter a number: ";
        cin >> number;
        // break condition
        if (number < 0) {
            break;
        }
        // add all positive numbers
        sum += number;
    }
    while (number >= 0);
    // display the sum
    cout << "The sum is " << sum << endl;
  
  cout<<"\n-------------------------------\n";
  cout<<"This program is posted at learnnc.com";
  return 0;
}

C programming:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdbool.h>
int main(void) {
  int number;
    int sum = 0;
    do{
        // take input from the user
        printf("Enter a number: ");
        scanf("%d", &number);
        // break condition
        if (number < 0) {
            break;
        }
        // add all positive numbers
        sum += number;
    }
    while (number >= 0);
    // display the sum
    printf("The sum is %d\n",sum);
  
  printf("\n-------------------------------\n");
  printf("This program is posted at learnnc.com");
  return 0;
}

Output:

break 04 PNG

Break statement in C / C++ with switch...case statement

To illustrate how to use break statement in C / C++ with switch...case statement, we have the following example:

Example: Displays the day of the week when the user enters a natural number.

C++ programming:

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main() {
  int number;
    int n;
    cout<<"Enter number n: ";
    cin>>n;
    switch(n){
      case 2:
        cout<<"This is Monday!";
        break;
      case 3:
        cout<<"This is Tuesday!";
        break;
      case 4:
        cout<<"This is Wednesday!";
        break;
      case 5:
        cout<<"This is Thursday!";
        break;
      case 6:
        cout<<"This is Friday!";
        break;
      case 7:
        cout<<"This is Saturday!";
        break;
      case 8:
        cout<<"This is Sunday!";
        break;
      default:
        cout<<"It's not exist!";
    }
  
  cout<<"\n-------------------------------\n";
  cout<<"This program is posted at learnnc.com";
  return 0;
}

C programming:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdbool.h>
int main(void) {
  int number;
    int n;
    printf("Enter number n: ");
    scanf("%d", &n);
    switch(n){
      case 2:
        printf("This is Monday!");
        break;
      case 3:
        printf("This is Tuesday!");
        break;
      case 4:
        printf("This is Wednesday!");
        break;
      case 5:
        printf("This is Thursday!";
        break;
      case 6:
        printf("This is Friday!");
        break;
      case 7:
        printf("This is Saturday!");
        break;
      case 8:
        printf("This is Sunday!");
        break;
      default:
        printf("It's not exist!");
    }
  
  printf("\n-------------------------------\n");
  printf("This program is posted at learnnc.com");
  return 0;
}

Output:

break 05 PNG

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