Home Programming Fundamentals Using C Operator Precedence and Associativity in C Programming

Operator Precedence and Associativity in C Programming


Some times we use more then one operator in an expression. In this case C follows a predefined rule of priority for operators called Operator Precedence. If two operators of same precedence are present in an expression then Associativity of operators decides the order of their execution.

Note: Precedence of operators decreases from top to bottom in the given table.

Summary of C operators with precedence and associativity
Operator Meaning of operator Associativity
Functional call
Array element reference
Indirect member selection
Direct member selection
Left to right


Logical negation
Bitwise(1 ‘s) complement
Unary plus
Unary minus
Dereference Operator(Address)
Pointer reference
Returns the size of an object
Type cast(conversion)
Right to left
Left to right
Binary plus(Addition)
Binary minus(subtraction)
Left to right
Left shift
Right shift
Left to right
Less than
Less than or equal
Greater than
Greater than or equal
Left to right
Equal to
Not equal to
Left to right
& Bitwise AND Left to right
^ Bitwise exclusive OR Left to right
| Bitwise OR Left to right
&& Logical AND Left to right
|| Logical OR Left to right
?: Conditional Operator Right to left
Simple assignment
Assign product
Assign quotient
Assign remainder
Assign sum
Assign difference
Assign bitwise AND
Assign bitwise XOR
Assign bitwise OR
Assign left shift
Assign right shift
Right to left
, Separator of expressions Left to right


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