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Swap three variables without using temporary variable
  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 08 Apr, 2021
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Given three variables, a, b and c, swap them without temporary variable.
Example : 
 

Input  : a = 10, b = 20 and c = 30
Output : a = 30, b = 10 and c = 20

 

Method 1 (Using Arithmetic Operators) 
The idea is to get sum in one of the two given numbers. The numbers can then be swapped using the sum and subtraction from sum. 
We have already discussed swapping two variables here. We can extend the same approaches 
 

C++




// C++ program to swap three variables
// without using temporary variable.
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
 
// Assign c's value to a, a's value to b and
// b's value to c.
void swapThree(int &a, int &b, int &c)
{
    // Store sum of all in a
    a = a + b + c;  // (a = 60)
 
    // After this, b has value of a
    b = a - (b+c);  // (b = 60 – (20+30) =10)
 
    // After this, c has value of b
    c = a - (b+c);  // (c = 60 – (10 + 30) = 20)
 
    // After this, a has value of c
    a = a - (b+c);   //(a = 60 – (10 + 20) = 30)
}
 
// Driver code
int main()
{
    int a = 10, b = 20, c = 30;
 
    cout << "Before swapping a = " << a << ", b = "
         << b << ", c = " << c << endl;
 
    swapThree(a, b, c);
 
    cout << "After swapping a = " << a << ", b = "
         << b << ", c = " << c << endl;
 
    return 0;
}

Java




// Java program to swap three variables
// without using temporary variable.
class GFG
{
    static int a, b, c;
 
    // Assign c's value to a, a's value
    // to b and b's value to c.
    static void swapThree()
    {
             
        // Store sum of all in a
        // (a = 60)
        a = a + b + c;
     
        // After this, b has value of a
        // (b = 60 - (20 + 30) = 10)
        b = a - (b + c);
     
        // After this, c has value of b
        // (c = 60 - (10 + 30) = 20)
        c = a - (b + c);
     
        // After this, a has value of c
        // (a = 60 - (10 + 20) = 30)
        a = a - (b + c);
    }
 
    // Driver Code
    public static void main(String []args)
    {
        a = 10; b = 20; c = 30;
        System.out.println("Before swapping a = " +
                                 a + ", b = " + b +
                                     ", c = " + c);
                             
        // Calling Function
        swapThree();
 
        System.out.println("After swapping a = " +
                                a + ", b = " + b +
                                    ", c = " + c);
    }
}
 
// This code is contributed by PrinciRaj1992

Python3




# python 3 program to swap three variables
# without using temporary variable.
 
# Assign c's value to a, a's value to b and
# b's value to c.
def swapThree(a, b, c):
    # Store sum of all in a
    a = a + b + c # (a = 60)
 
    # After this, b has value of a
    b = a - (b+c) # (b = 60 – (20+30) =10)
 
    # After this, c has value of b
    c = a - (b+c) # (c = 60 – (10 + 30) = 20)
 
    # After this, a has value of c
    a = a - (b+c) #(a = 60 – (10 + 20) = 30)
     
    print("After swapping a =",a,", b =",b,", c =",c)
 
# Driver code
if __name__ == '__main__':
    a = 10
    b = 20
    c = 30
 
    print("Before swapping a =",a,", b =",b,", c =",c)
 
    swapThree(a, b, c)
     
# This code is contributed by
# Surendra_Gangwar

C#




// C# program to swap three variables
// without using temporary variable.
using System;
 
class GFG
{
 
    // Assign c's value to a, a's value
    // to b and b's value to c.
    static void swapThree(ref int a,
                        ref int b,
                        ref int c)
    {
    // Store sum of all in a
    // (a = 60)
        a = a + b + c;
 
    // After this, b has value of a
    // (b = 60 – (20 + 30) = 10)
        b = a - (b + c);
 
    // After this, c has value of b
    // (c = 60 – (10 + 30) = 20)
        c = a - (b + c);
 
    // After this, a has value of c
    // (a = 60 – (10 + 20) = 30)
        a = a - (b + c);
    }
 
    // Driver Code
    static void Main(String []args)
    {
         
        int a = 10, b = 20, c = 30;
        Console.WriteLine("Before swapping a = " +
                                a + ", b = " + b +
                                    ", c = " + c);
                             
        // Calling Function
        swapThree(ref a, ref b,ref c);
 
        Console.Write("After swapping a = " +
                           a + ", b = " + b +
                               ", c = " + c);
    }
}
 
// This code is contributed by Sam007.

PHP




<?php
// PHP program to swap three
// variables without using
// temporary variable.
 
// Assign c's value to a,
// a's value to b and
// b's value to c.
function swapThree(&$a, &$b, &$c)
{
    // Store sum of all in a
    $a = $a + $b + $c; // (a = 60)
 
    // After this, b has value of a
    // (b = 60 – (20+30) =10)
    $b = $a - ($b + $c);
 
    // After this, c has value of b
    // (c = 60 – (10 + 30) = 20)
    $c = $a - ($b + $c);
 
    // After this, a has value of c
    //(a = 60 – (10 + 20) = 30)
    $a = $a - ($b + $c);
}
 
// Driver Code
$a = 10; $b = 20; $c = 30;
 
echo "Before swapping a = " , $a ,
         ", b = ", $b , ", c = " ,
                         $c ,"\n";
 
swapThree($a, $b, $c);
 
echo "After swapping a = ",$a ,
                 ", b = ", $b ,
           ", c = ", $c , "\n";
 
// This code is contributed by ajit
?>

Javascript




<script>
// javascript program to swap three variables
// without using temporary variable.
 
let a, b, c;
 
// Assign c's value to a, a's value
// to b and b's value to c.
function swapThree()
{
         
    // Store sum of all in a
    // (a = 60)
    a = a + b + c;
 
    // After this, b has value of a
    // (b = 60 - (20 + 30) = 10)
    b = a - (b + c);
 
    // After this, c has value of b
    // (c = 60 - (10 + 30) = 20)
    c = a - (b + c);
 
    // After this, a has value of c
    // (a = 60 - (10 + 20) = 30)
    a = a - (b + c);
}
 
// Driver Code
a = 10; b = 20; c = 30;
document.write("Before swapping a = " +
                         a + ", b = " + b +
                             ", c = " + c);
                     
// Calling Function
swapThree();
 
document.write("<br>After swapping a = " +
                        a + ", b = " + b +
                            ", c = " + c);
 
// This code contributed by Princi Singh
</script>

Output : 
 

Before swapping a = 10, b = 20, c = 30
After swapping a = 30, b = 10, c = 20

Thanks to Mazhar MIK for suggesting this method.
Method 2 (Using Bitwise XOR) 
The bitwise XOR operator can be used to swap three variables. The idea is similar to method 1. We first store XOR of all numbers in ‘a’. Then we get individual numbers by doing XOR of this with other two numbers.
 



C++




// C++ program to swap three variables
// without using temporary variable
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;
 
// Assign c's value to a, a's value to b and
// b's value to c.
void swapThree(int &a, int &b, int &c)
{
    // Store XOR of all in a
    a = a ^ b ^ c;
 
    // After this, b has value of a
    b = a ^ b ^ c;
 
    // After this, c has value of b
    c = a ^ b ^ c;
 
    // After this, a has value of c
    a = a ^ b ^ c;
}
 
// Driver code
int main()
{
    int a = 10, b = 20, c = 30;
 
    cout << "Before swapping a = " << a << ", b = "
         << b << ", c = " << c << endl;
 
    swapThree(a, b, c);
 
    cout << "After swapping a = " << a << ", b = "
         << b << ", c = " << c << endl;
 
    return 0;
}

Java




// Java program to swap three variables
// without using temporary variable.
class GFG
{
    static int a, b, c;
 
    // Assign c's value to a, a's value
    // to b and b's value to c.
    static void swapThree()
    {
        // Store XOR of all in a
        a = a ^ b ^ c;
 
        // After this, b has value of a
        b = a ^ b ^ c;
 
        // After this, c has value of b
        c = a ^ b ^ c;
 
        // After this, a has value of c
        a = a ^ b ^ c;
    }
 
    // Driver Code
    public static void main(String[] args)
    {
        a = 10;
        b = 20;
        c = 30;
        System.out.println("Before swapping a = " + a +
                           ", b = " + b + ",c = " + c);
 
        // Calling Function
        swapThree();
        System.out.println("After swapping a = " + a +
                           ", b = " + b + ", c = " + c);
    }
}
 
// This code is contributed by Rajput-Ji

Python3




# Python program to swap three variables
# without using temporary variable
 
# Assign c's value to a, a's value to b and
# b's value to c.
def swapThree(a, b, c) :
 
    # Store XOR of all in a
    a[0] = a[0] ^ b[0] ^ c[0]
 
    # After this, b has value of a[0]
    b[0] = a[0] ^ b[0] ^ c[0]
 
    # After this, c has value of b
    c[0] = a[0] ^ b[0] ^ c[0]
 
    # After this, a[0] has value of c
    a[0] = a[0] ^ b[0] ^ c[0]
 
# Driver code
a, b, c = [10], [20], [30]
 
print("Before swapping a = ", a[0],
    ", b = ", b[0], ", c = ", c[0])
 
swapThree(a, b, c)
 
print("After swapping a = ", a[0],
   ", b = ", b[0], ", c = ", c[0])
 
# This code is contributed by SHUBHAMSINGH10

C#




// C# program to swap three variables
// without using temporary variable.
using System;
 
class GFG
{
     
    // Assign c's value to a, a's value
    // to b and b's value to c.
    static void swapThree(ref int a,
                          ref int b,
                          ref int c)
    {
    // Store XOR of all in a
        a = a ^ b ^ c;
 
    // After this, b has value of a
        b = a ^ b ^ c;
 
    // After this, c has value of b
        c = a ^ b ^ c;
 
    // After this, a has value of c
        a = a ^ b ^ c;
    }
 
    // Driver Code
    static void Main(String []args)
    {
         
    int a = 10, b = 20, c = 30;
        Console.WriteLine( "Before swapping a = " +
                            a +", b = " + b +
                               ",c = " + c);
                              
         
        // Calling Function
        swapThree(ref a, ref b,ref c);
 
         
        Console.Write("After swapping a = " +
                       a +", b = " + b +
                       ", c = " + c);
                        
    }
}
 
// This code is contributed by Sam007.

PHP




<?php
//PHP program to swap three variables
// without using temporary variable
 
// Assign c's value to a, a's value to b and
// b's value to c.
 
function swapThree(&$a, &$b, &$c)
{
    // Store XOR of all in a
    $a = $a ^ $b ^ $c;
 
    // After this, b has value of a
    $b = $a ^ $b ^ $c;
 
    // After this, c has value of b
    $c = $a ^ $b ^ $c;
 
    // After this, a has value of c
    $a = $a ^ $b ^ $c;
}
 
// Driver code
 
    $a = 10; $b = 20; $c = 30;
 
    echo  "Before swapping a = " , $a , ", b = ",
         $b , ", c = " , $c ,"\n";
 
    swapThree($a, $b, $c);
 
    echo "After swapping a = ", $a , ", b = ",
         $b , ", c = " , $c ,"\n";
 
     
#This code is contributed by ajit
?>

Javascript




<script>
 
// javascript program to swap three variables
// without using temporary variable.
 
var a, b, c;
 
// Assign c's value to a, a's value
// to b and b's value to c.
function swapThree()
{
    // Store XOR of all in a
    a = a ^ b ^ c;
 
    // After this, b has value of a
    b = a ^ b ^ c;
 
    // After this, c has value of b
    c = a ^ b ^ c;
 
    // After this, a has value of c
    a = a ^ b ^ c;
}
 
// Driver Code
a = 10;
b = 20;
c = 30;
document.write("Before swapping a = " + a +
                   ", b = " + b + ", c = " + c);
 
// Calling Function
swapThree();
document.write("<br>")
document.write("After swapping a = " + a +
                   ", b = " + b + ", c = " + c);
 
// This code contributed by Princi Singh
 
</script>

Output: 
 

Before swapping a = 10, b = 20, c = 30
After swapping a = 30, b = 10, c = 20

The method 1 causes overflow for large values of a, b and c, while method 2 doesn’t.
This article is contributed by Shubham. If you like GeeksforGeeks and would like to contribute, you can also write an article using contribute.geeksforgeeks.org or mail your article to contribute@geeksforgeeks.org. See your article appearing on the GeeksforGeeks main page and help other Geeks.
Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above.
 

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