C Assignment Operators

An assignment operation assigns the value of the right-hand operand to the storage location named by the left-hand operand. Therefore, the left-hand operand of an assignment operation must be a modifiable l-value. After the assignment, an assignment expression has the value of the left operand but is not an l-value.


  • assignment-expression:

    unary-expression assignment-operator assignment-expression

  • assignment-operator: one of
    =   *=   /=   %=   +=   –=   <<=   >>= &=   ^=   |=

The assignment operators in C can both transform and assign values in a single operation. C provides the following assignment operators:


Operation Performed


Simple assignment


Multiplication assignment


Division assignment


Remainder assignment


Addition assignment


Subtraction assignment


Left-shift assignment


Right-shift assignment


Bitwise-AND assignment


Bitwise-exclusive-OR assignment


Bitwise-inclusive-OR assignment

In assignment, the type of the right-hand value is converted to the type of the left-hand value, and the value is stored in the left operand after the assignment has taken place. The left operand must not be an array, a function, or a constant. The specific conversion path, which depends on the two types, is outlined in detail in Type Conversions.

See Also


Assignment Operators: =, *=, /=, %=, +=, -=, <<=, >>=, &=, ^=, and |=