Operator Precedence and Associativity in C



What is Operator Precedence?

Operator precedence is used to determine the order of operators evaluated in an expression. In c programming language every operator has precedence (priority). When there is more than one operator in an expression the operator with higher precedence is evaluated first and the operator with least precedence is evaluated last.

What is Operator Associativity?

Operator associativity is used to determine the order of operators with equal precedence evaluated in an expression. In c programming language, when an expression contains multiple operators with equal precedence, we use associativity to determine the order of evaluation of those operators.

In c programming language the operator precedence and associativity is as shown in the following table...

Precedence Operator Operator Meaning Associativity
1 ()
[]
->
.
function call
array reference
structure member access
structure member access
Left to Right
2 !
~
+
-
++
--
&
*
sizeof
(type)
negation
1's complement
Unary plus
Unary minus
increment operator
decrement operator
address of operator
pointer
returns size of a variable
type conversion
Right to Left
3 *
/
%
multiplication
division
remainder
Left to Right
4 +
-
addition
subtraction
Left to Right
5 <<
>>
left shift
right shift
Left to Right
6 <
<=
>
>=
less than
less than or equal to
greater than
greater than or equal to
Left to Right
7 ==
!=
equal to
not equal to
Left to Right
8 & bitwise AND Left to Right
9 ^ bitwise EXCLUSIVE OR Left to Right
10 | bitwise OR Left to Right
11 && logical AND Left to Right
12 || logical OR Left to Right
13 ?: conditional operator Left to Right
14 =
*=
/=
%=
+=
-=
&=
^=
|=
<<=
>>=
assignment
assign multiplication
assign division
assign remainder
assign additon
assign subtraction
assign bitwise AND
assign bitwise XOR
assign bitwise OR
assign left shift
assign right shift
Right to Left
15 , separator Left to Right

In the above table, the operator precedence decrese from top to bottom and increase from bottom to top.