15 Most Important Features of C Language

15 Most Important Features of C Language

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Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content
Updated on Sep 22, 2023 18:41 IST

C is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It has wide range of applications in different systems. So what makes it so useful? Let us take a look at the most important features of c language.


In this article, we will be discussing the important features of C language that make it one of the most popular programming languages. 

Table of Contents

What is C language?

C is a general purpose programming language that is used for writing most modern programming languages. It is a very versatile language used in applications and technologies. C programming is used on computer architectures ranging from supercomputers to embedded systems. A standard compliant C program that is written with portability in mind. It can be compiled with various computer platforms and operating systems without much changes to the source code. C is an imperative procedural language in ALGOL tradition with a static type system. It can be defined as the following:

  • Mother language
  • Structured programming language
  • System programming language
  • Mid-level programming language
  • Procedure-oriented programming language

Features of C Programming

1. Rich libraries

The libraries in C have several built-in functions that can be used for performing repetitive tasks. Through these libraries, even beginners can do coding. This prevents the effort to do coding again and again. It also allows the creation of user defined functions that can be added to the C libraries. Due to this functionality, many programs can be created using C programming language.

Must Check: Difference Between C and C++

2. Fast language

C is a middle-level language that allows programmers to access direct manipulation with computer hardware. It is also fast since it is a statistically typed language. The C programming supports useful feature which expedites the compilation of C.

3. Mid level language

C has become mid-level language with time due to which supports the functionality and features of both low-level and high-level languages. It can be used for both system programming for the purpose of writing operating systems. Application programming can also be done using the C language.

4. Serves multiple purposes

C can be used for developing drivers, kernels, hardware devices, and operating systems. This language also supports low-level languages that allow programmers to perform bit-wise operations. C is also used in embedded programming. 

5. Dynamic memory allocation

C programming language supports dynamic memory allocation, which supports many functions. This allows programmers to allocate memory at run time. Due to this, memory can be increased during the execution of a program. malloc() allocates single block and calloc() allocates multiple blocks of requested memory. realloc() reallocates the memory that is occupied by either malloc() or calloc(). The free() helps in freeing the dynamically allocated memory. 

6. General Purpose Language

C is a general-purpose programming language that is used for building software in hardware configurations, operating systems, and application domains. It can also work efficiently on graphics, applications and games. It is not bound to any domain which makes it useful for different fields. 

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7. Machine Independent in nature

One of the features of C language is it being machine-independent or portable. It can be executed on variety of machines with specific changes to the machine such as OS specific functions or system calls. Even if a C program is written for a particular hardware, it is possible to compile and execute it on other hardware with very minute changes.

8. Garbage Collection

Another feature of C language involves garbage collection. Due to this, the memory automatically frees up. When an object is no longer in use, it clears up the memory to reclaim the object. The constructors of newly created objects do not need to initialize all data fields since the memory of previously released objects is released during garbage collection.

9. Reusability

Due to the availability of predefined functions that can be used for creating your own functions to create recurring tasks. This prevents the effort required in writing the same code again and again. 

10. Recursion

Due to recursion, functions can be created in C that call themselves multiple times until a given condition comes true. This feature allows backtracking and code reusability. This function also allows a way to break any complicated problem into simple problems so that they can be solved easily. Recursion also adds clarity, reduced time complexity, and decreases the time required to write code and debug it. 

Check out the top programming languages to learn

11. Extensibility

Another feature of C language is extensibility. C is extensible as it allows users to define more features and program even in a program that is already written in C language. 

12. Used in Complex Calculations

C allows fast implementation of algorithms and data structures which expedites computations in programs. Due to this feature, C is used in applications such as Mathematica or MATLAB that require complex calculations. 

13. Portability

C is a portable language since it is independent of both hardware and platform. There is also source code portability in C labguage due to which it can be easily ported from one to another environment. It also comes with very portable libraries that allow developers to range of things. 

14. Direct Interaction of Memory

Through the use of pointers in C, direct interaction with memory is possible. As pointers point to a specific location in memory and directly interact with it. You can operate with arrays, functions, structures, and memory.

15. Powerful Language

C is a powerful language that can be used for writing efficient and effective programs. C provides direct access to any underlying hardware thus allowing programmers to optimize the code for performance.

Also, explore Data Types in C

Why Choose C over other languages?

C offers the best of both low level languages as well as high-level languages. It also builds a base for you to learn other programming languages. It has simpler concepts that can be used by even beginners. After learning the C language, other languages become easier to learn. Most Windows operating systems and all Linux Kernels are written in C. Due to its wide variety of applications, it is one of the most preferred programming languages. 


Can I start learning coding in C even if I have never done programming?

Yes, in fact, starting with C is the best way since after learning coding in C, it is easier to program in higher languages. Also, C offers function-rich libraries that allow code reusability, due to which even beginners can learn to program.

How can I learn C at home?

There are various methods to learn C at home. You can take the help of video tutorials, sample programs and tutorials that are available online. If you still need more guidance, you can check out the online courses on C that are taught by expert programmers.

Is C or C++ better?

C is simpler to learn, but it does lack certain functionalities, such as support for classes and objects. This is, however, present in C++. At the OS level, you can learn to use the libraries in C.

About the Author
Jaya Sharma
Assistant Manager - Content

Jaya is a writer with an experience of over 5 years in content creation and marketing. Her writing style is versatile since she likes to write as per the requirement of the domain. She has worked on Technology, Fina... Read Full Bio