In the world of programming languages, arrays play a vital role. Arrays organize similar data types in a sequential manner. They are immensely useful when it comes to storing a large amount of data efficiently. In this article, we will dive into the world of array in C programming, array in C programming examples pdf, and explore their various types, usage, examples, and how to manipulate them effectively.

What is array in c programming

In C programming, an array is a collection of elements of the same data type that are stored in contiguous memory locations. You can access these elements using an index, which is an integer value that represents the position of the element in the array. Arrays provide a convenient way to store and manipulate multiple values of the same type, such as integers, characters, or floating-point numbers.

Types of Array in C

1. One-Dimensional Array

A one-dimensional array, commonly referred to as a linear array, is the simplest form of an array. It represents a list of elements of the same data type arranged in a sequential manner. Each element can be accessed by its index. For instance, You can declare an array of integers as follows:

int numbers[5];

2. Multi-Dimensional Array

So far, we have only discussed one-dimensional arrays, which represent a single sequence of elements. However, C also allows you to work with multi-dimensional arrays, which are arrays with more than one dimension.

A two-dimensional array, which we can visualize as a table or grid with rows and columns, is a common example of a multi-dimensional array.

To declare a two-dimensional array in C, you need to specify the data type of the elements it will hold, followed by the array name and the size of each dimension in square brackets [].

For example, to declare a 3×3 integer matrix named “matrix”, you would write:

int matrix[3][3];

So, this line of code allocates memory for a 3×3 matrix of integers and assigns the variable name “matrix” to represent the array.

Once the two-dimensional array is declared, you can initialize its elements using nested initializer lists. Each nested list represents a row of the matrix, and the values are specified column-wise.</p

int matrix[3][3] = {{1, 2, 3}, {4, 5, 6}, {7, 8, 9}};

In this example, we initialize the elements of the “matrix” array with the values 1 to 9.

To access individual elements in a two-dimensional array, you use two indices—one for the row and one for the column—separated by a comma.

For example, to access the element in the second row and third column of the “matrix” array, you would write:</p

int element = matrix[1][2];

In this case, the value of the element at row 1, column 2 is assigned to the variable “element”.

You can extend multi-dimensional arrays to more than two dimensions by adding additional size values within the square brackets.

3. Jagged Array

A jagged array, also known as a ragged array, is an array of arrays. Unlike a multi-dimensional array, jagged arrays have varying lengths for each row. This flexibility makes them an excellent choice when dealing with irregular data structures, such as lists that have different sizes. Let’s take a look at an example:

int jaggedArray[3][];

In this declaration, we create an array with three rows, but the length of each row is not specified initially.

Use of Array in C

Arrays in C programming serve a multitude of purposes, and developers widely use them in various applications. Here are a few notable uses of arrays:

  • Data Storage: Arrays act as containers, storing and organizing data in a highly efficient manner.

  • Data Manipulation: Arrays provide an easy way to perform mathematical or logical operations on a large set of data.

  • Sorting and Searching: Arrays allow us to implement efficient sorting and searching algorithms, ensuring optimal performance.

  • Representation: Programmers often use arrays to represent graphs, matrices, and other data structures.

Common Operations on Arrays

Arrays support a variety of operations that allow you to manipulate and analyze the data they hold. Let’s explore some of the most common operations performed on arrays in C.

Finding the Length of an Array

To determine the length (i.e., the number of elements) of a one-dimensional array, you can use the sizeof operator in conjunction with sizeof(array) / sizeof(array[0]).

Here’s an example:

int arr[] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};
int length = sizeof(arr) / sizeof(arr[0]);
printf("The length of the array is: %d\n", length);

In this case, the sizeof(arr) gives the total size of the array in bytes, while sizeof(arr[0]) gives the size of a single element in bytes. Dividing the total size by the element size gives the number of elements, which is subsequently assigned to the length variable.

Copying Arrays

Sometimes, you may need to copy the contents of one array into another. C provides the memcpy function from the string.h library to achieve this.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to copy the elements of one array into another:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>

int main() {
    int source[] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};
    int destination[5];
    memcpy(destination, source, sizeof(source));

    printf("Elements of the destination array after copying:\n");
    for (int i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
        printf("%d ", destination[i]);

    return 0;

In this code, the memcpy function is used to copy the elements from the source array into the destination array. The function takes three arguments: the destination array, the source array, and the number of bytes to copy. Since memcpy operates on bytes, we use sizeof(source) to calculate the number of bytes to copy.

Sorting Arrays

Sorting arrays is a common operation in programming, and C provides the qsort function from the stdlib.h library for this purpose. The qsort function allows you to sort the elements of an array in either ascending or descending order.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to sort an array of integers in ascending order:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int compare(const void* a, const void* b) {
    return (*(int*)a - *(int*)b);

int main() {
    int arr[] = {5, 3, 4, 2, 1};

    qsort(arr, sizeof(arr) / sizeof(arr[0]), sizeof(int), compare);

    printf("Elements of the sorted array in ascending order:\n");
    for (int i = 0; i < sizeof(arr) / sizeof(arr[0]); i++) {
        printf("%d ", arr[i]);

    return 0;

In this code, the compare function is used as a comparison function for qsort. It takes two pointers to the elements being compared and returns a negative value if the first element is smaller, a positive value if the first element is greater, or zero if they are equal. The qsort function uses this comparison function to sort the elements in ascending order.

Searching Arrays

Searching for a specific element in an array is another common operation. C provides the bsearch function from the stdlib.h library to perform binary searches on sorted arrays.

Here’s an example that demonstrates how to search for a specific element in a sorted array:

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int compare(const void* a, const void* b) {
    return (*(int*)a - *(int*)b);

int main() {
    int arr[] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};
    int key = 3;

    int* result = (int*)bsearch(&key, arr, sizeof(arr) / sizeof(arr[0]), sizeof(int), compare);

    if (result != NULL) {
        printf("Element found at index: %d\n", result - arr);
    } else {
        printf("Element not found\n");

    return 0;

In this code, the compare function is used once again as the comparison function for bsearch. The bsearch function takes five arguments: the key being searched for, the array to be searched, the number of elements in the array, the size of each element in bytes, and the comparison function. If the key is found in the array, the function returns a pointer to the matching element; otherwise, it returns NULL.

Example of Array in C Programming

Let’s explore a simple example to understand the practical use of array in C programming. Consider a scenario where we need to store the scores of students in a class. Instead of defining individual variables for each student, using an array simplifies the process. The following example demonstrates this approach:

#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
   int scores[5] = {87, 92, 78, 95, 81};

   printf("Student 1 score: %d\n", scores[0]);
   printf("Student 3 score: %d\n", scores[2]);
   printf("Student 5 score: %d\n", scores[4]);

   return 0;

In this example, we define an array “scores” with a size of 5. Each element corresponds to the respective student’s score in the class. By accessing the array elements using their indices, we can easily retrieve and manipulate specific data.

How to Declare an Array in C?

Declaring an array in C involves specifying the data type, name, and size (if known) within square brackets. The syntax for array declaration is as follows:

data_type array_name[array_size];

Here’s an example of declaring an array of integers:

int numbers[5];

In this case, we declare an integer array called “numbers” with a capacity of 5 elements.

How to Access Array Elements in C Language?

Array elements in C are accessed using their respective indices within square brackets. The index starts from 0 for the first element and increments by one for each subsequent element.

To access the third element in an array called “numbers,” we can use the following syntax:


Here, 2 represents the index of the third element, as we count from 0.

How to Update Values of Array Elements?

Array elements in C can be updated by assigning new values to them using the assignment operator (=).

Consider the following example:

numbers[1] = 10;

In this case, the second element of the array “numbers” will be updated with the value 10.

How to Initialize an Array in C?

In C programming, arrays can be initialized during declaration or by assigning values to each element using a loop. Declaring and initializing an array simultaneously is done as follows:

int numbers[5] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};

In this example, an integer array called “numbers” is declared and initialized with five elements: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

How to Loop Through an Array in C?

To loop through an array in C, we can use a “for” loop along with the array’s size.

Here’s an example that demonstrates this approach:

int numbers[5] = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};
int i;

for(i = 0; i < 5; i++) {
   printf("%d\n", numbers[i]);

This loop iterates through each element of the array “numbers,” printing its value.

How to Set the Size of an Array in C?

In C, the size of an array can be set dynamically using a variable instead of a constant value. This is achieved by using dynamic memory allocation functions such as “malloc” or “calloc.”

Here’s an example that illustrates this concept:

int size;
printf("Enter the size of the array: ");
scanf("%d", &size);

int *dynamicArray = (int*)malloc(size * sizeof(int));

In this example, the user inputs the size of the array, and the memory required to accommodate that size is allocated dynamically.


Q: What is the index of the first element in an array?

A: In C, array indexing starts at 0, so the first element is at index 0.

Q: How can I access elements of an array?

A: You access array elements using square brackets and the index, like ‘int thirdNumber = numbers[2];’ to access the third element.

Q: What is the maximum number of elements in an array?

A: The number of elements in an array is determined at the time of declaration, and it has a fixed size. You can’t change the size of an array once it’s declared.

Q: Can I have arrays of different data types in C?

A: No, all elements in a C array must have the same data type.

Q: How do I iterate through an array in C?

A: You can use loops like ‘for’ or ‘while’ to iterate through an array and access its elements sequentially.

Q: What are the limitations of arrays in C?

A: Arrays have fixed sizes, and you need to know the size at compile-time. They don’t automatically resize, and accessing elements beyond the array boundaries can lead to undefined behavior.


Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of this comprehensive blog post on array in C programming examples pdf. Overall, we’ve covered the basics of arrays, including declaration, initialization, and accessing elements. We’ve also explored multi-dimensional arrays, common operations on arrays, and some useful functions provided by the C standard library.

By now, you should have a solid understanding of arrays and how to use them effectively in your C programs. Remember, arrays are powerful tools for organizing and manipulating data, so make sure to practice and experiment with them to gain more confidence. Download Array in C Programming examples pdf today!

If you’re hungry for more knowledge, I encourage you to explore advanced topics like dynamic memory allocation, arrays of structures, and advanced array-based algorithms. So, there’s always something new to learn!

Happy coding!

Download Array in C Programming examples pdf today!