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Call By Reference And Call By Value In C Programming Pdf

call by reference and call by value in c programming pdf

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We often write large programs and it is a good idea to split large steps into smaller procedures. These small procedure blocks are known as functions. Functions are often required to do repetitive jobs.

Difference between Call by Value and Call by Reference

In computer programming , a subroutine is a sequence of program instructions that performs a specific task, packaged as a unit. This unit can then be used in programs wherever that particular task should be performed. Subroutines may be defined within programs, or separately in libraries that can be used by many programs. In different programming languages, a subroutine may be called a routine , subprogram , function , method , or procedure. Technically, these terms all have different definitions.

In this method a copy of each of the actual arguments is made first then these values are assigned to the corresponding formal arguments. This means that the changes made by the called function have no effect on the values of actual arguments in the calling function. However, the original value of val1 and val2 remains the same. All the function we have written so far uses call by value except the ones in which we passed an array to the function. In this method addresses of the actual arguments are copied and then assigned to the corresponding formal arguments. Now formal and actual arguments both points to the same data because they contain the same address. As a result, any changes made by called function also affect the actual arguments.


Function arguments are the inputs passed to a function. A function must declare variables to accept passed arguments. A variable that accepts function argument is known as function parameter. In programming function argument is commonly referred as actual parameter and function parameter is referred as formal parameter. I will be using these words interchangeably throughout this series of C programming tutorial.

In the examples from the previous page, we used normal variables when we passed parameters to a function. You can also pass a reference to the function. This can be useful when you need to change the value of the arguments:. If you want to report an error, or if you want to make a suggestion, do not hesitate to send us an e-mail:. LOG IN. New User?

The major difference between call by value and call by reference is that in call by value a copy of actual arguments is passed to respective formal arguments. While, in call by reference the location address of actual arguments is passed to formal arguments, hence any change made to formal arguments will also reflect in actual arguments. In C, the calling and called functions do not share any memory -- they have their own copy and the called function cannot directly alter a variable in the calling function; it can only alter its private, temporary copy. The call by value scheme is an asset, however, not a liability. It usually leads to more compact programs with fewer extraneous variables, because parameters can be treated as conveniently initialized local variables in the called routine. Yet, there are some cases where we need call by reference :. The call by value does not address above cases, hence we need call by reference.

Call by Value and Call by Reference in C

Functions can be invoked in two ways: Call by Value or Call by Reference. These two ways are generally differentiated by the type of values passed to them as parameters. The parameters passed to function are called actual parameters whereas the parameters received by function are called formal parameters. So any changes made inside functions are not reflected in actual parameters of the caller.

In programming languages, functions can be invoked in two ways: which is known as Call by Value and Call by Reference. In this tutorial, you will learn, What is call by value method? What is Call by Reference method?

Call by value and Call by reference in C

There are two methods to pass the data into the function in C language, i. JavaTpoint offers too many high quality services.

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