C program to take input from the user

‘User input’ in programming is simply any input a user gives during the execution of a program or application. In C, there are many standard functions to take input from the user. In this program, we will take input from the user and store it in a variable using the standard scanf() function.

Sample Program

int main()
    int x;
    printf("Enter a number");
    scanf("%d", &x);
    printf("The number is %d", x);
    return 0;


Enter a number7

The number is 7

Working of this program

  • The first line of this program is written to include the standard header file stdio. This file contains the functions printf() and scanf().
  • The execution of the program starts from the main function. The open brace ‘{‘ and the closing brace ‘}’ represents the scope of the main function.
  • The statement int x is written to create (or declare) a new variable named x which should store integer type value.
  • The printf function is an inbuilt function used to display something on the screen. In this case the printf function will display a message “Enter a number”.
  • The scanf function is also an inbuilt function found in stdio standard library. This function will take user input and store the value in the variable x. The symbol ‘&’ used with x (i.e., &x) represents the memory address of the variable x. So this statement means that whatever value the user gives would be stored at the memory address of x (or indirectly inside ‘x’).
  • The final statement (printf(“The number is %d”, x);) will print the output, i.e. the value of x that is given by the user on the screen.

Taking multiple values from the user simultaneously

We can take multiple inputs using a single scanf() function.

int main()
    int x, y;
    printf("Enter the numbers :");
    scanf("%d%d", &x, &y);
    printf("The first number is %d", x);
    printf("The second number is %d", y);
    return 0;

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