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How to use continue statement in C / C++

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

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

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

In the C and C++ programming languages, the continue statement is used to skip the current iteration of the loop and the control of the program goes to the next iteration.

Syntax of continue statement in C / C++:

continue;

continue 01 PNG

When the continue statement is encountered, the loop immediately jumps to the next iteration. Regardless of whether there is another command behind it or not.

Continue statement in C / C++ with for loop

In the for loop, we can use continue statement to skip the current iteration. See the example below:

Example: Display numbers from 1 to 5, ignore number 3.

C++ programming:

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

Output:

continue 02 PNG

In this program, we use for loop to display the numbers from 1 to 5. However inside the loop body, we have a continue statement on condition i = 3. So when the program loops to i = 3, will skip and go to i = 4.

Continue statement in C / C++ with while loop

The continue statement is also used in the while loop to skip the current iteration and move on to the next iteration. We have the following example:

Example: Continue 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.
  • If number above 50, skip iteration.

C++ programming:

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
int main() {
  int sum = 0;
    int number = 0;
    while (number >= 0) {
        // add all positive numbers
        sum += number;
        // take input from the user
        cout << "Enter a number: ";
        cin >> number;
        // continue condition
        if (number > 50) {
            cout << "The number is greater than 50 and won't be calculated." << endl;
            number = 0;  // the value of number is made 0 again
            continue;
        }
    }
    // 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 sum = 0;
    int number = 0;

    while (number >= 0) {
        // add all positive numbers
        sum += number;
        // take input from the user
        printf("Enter a number: ");
        scanf("%d", &number);
        // continue condition
        if (number > 50) {
            printf("The number is greater than 50 and won't be calculated.\n");
            number = 0;  // the value of number is made 0 again
            continue;
        }
    }
    // display the sum
    printf("The sum is %d\n",sum);
  
  printf("\n-------------------------------\n");
  printf("This program is posted at learnnc.com");
  return 0;
}

Output:

continue 03 PNG

The above program will calculate the sum of the numbers entered by the user. However, there are some conditions as follows:

  • Input numbers are less than 50.
  • Input number is positive.

Continue statement in C / C++ with nested loop

In the case of two nested loops, the continue statement skips only the iteration of the loop closest to it. Outer loop are not affected.

Example: Continue statement in C / C++ with nested loop.

C++ programming:

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

    // nested for loops

    // first loop
    for (int i = 1; i <= 3; i++) {
        // second loop
        for (int j = 1; j <= 3; j++) {
            if (j == 2) {
                continue;
            }
            cout << "i = " << i << ", j = " << j << 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;

    // nested for loops

    // first loop
    for (int i = 1; i <= 3; i++) {
        // second loop
        for (int j = 1; j <= 3; j++) {
            if (j == 2) {
                continue;
            }
            printf("i = %d, j = %d\n",i,j);
        }
    }
  
  printf("\n-------------------------------\n");
  printf("This program is posted at learnnc.com");
  return 0;
}

Output:

continue 04 PNG

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