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C++ | Operator Overloading | Question 4

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Which of the following operators should be preferred to overload as a global function rather than a member method?
(A) Postfix ++
(B) Comparison Operator
(C) Insertion Operator <<
(D) Prefix++

Answer: (C)

Explanation: cout is an object of ostream class which is a compiler defined class.

When we do “cout << obj" where obj is an object of our class, the compiler first looks for an operator function in ostream, then it looks for a global function.
One way to overload insertion operator is to modify ostream class which may not be a good idea. So we make a global method. Following is an example.

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

class Complex
    int real;
    int imag;
    Complex(int r = 0, int i =0)
        real = r;
        imag = i;
    friend ostream & operator << (ostream &out, const Complex &c);

ostream & operator << (ostream &out, const Complex &c)
    out << c.real;
    out << "+i" << c.imag;
    return out;

int main()
    Complex c1(10, 15);
    cout << c1;
    return 0;

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Last Updated : 28 Jun, 2021
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