We all know that a function in C can return only one value. So how do we achieve the purpose of returning multiple values.
Well, first take a look at the declaration of a function.
So we can notice here that our interface to the function is through arguments and return value only. (Unless we talk about modifying the globals inside the function)
Let us take a deeper look…Even though a function can return only one value but that value can be of pointer type. That’s correct, now you’re speculating right!
We can declare the function such that, it returns a structure type user defined variable or a pointer to it . And by the property of a structure, we know that a structure in C can hold multiple values of asymmetrical types (i.e. one int variable, four char variables, two float variables and so on…)
If we want the function to return multiple values of same data types, we could return the pointer to array of that data types.
We can also make the function return multiple values by using the arguments of the function. How? By providing the pointers as arguments.
Usually, when a function needs to return several values, we use one pointer in return instead of several pointers as arguments.
Please see How to return multiple values from a function in C or C++? for more details.
- How to return multiple values from a function in C or C++?
- Pointers in C and C++ | Set 1 (Introduction, Arithmetic and Array)
- std::tuple, std::pair | Returning multiple values from a function using Tuple and Pair in C++
- A C/C++ Function Call Puzzle
- Functions in C/C++
- Implicit return type int in C
- What happens when a function is called before its declaration in C?
- return statement vs exit() in main()
- How to Count Variable Numbers of Arguments in C?
- exit(), abort() and assert()
- What is evaluation order of function parameters in C?
- Static functions in C
- What is the purpose of a function prototype?
- Does C support function overloading?
- Understanding "extern" keyword in C