Why do we use modifiers in C/C++?

A modifier is used to alter the meaning of the base type so that it works in accordance with your needs. For example, time cannot be negative and it makes sense to make it unsigned. C++ allows the char, int, and double data types to have modifiers preceding them. The data type modifiers are listed here −

  • signed
  • unsigned
  • long
  • short

The modifiers signed, unsigned, long, and short can be applied to integer base types. In addition, signed and unsigned can be applied to char, and long can be applied to double.

The modifiers signed and unsigned can also be used as a prefix too long or short modifiers. For example, unsigned long int.

C++ allows a shorthand notation for declaring unsigned, short, or long integers. You can simply use the word unsigned, short, or long, without the int. The int is implied. For example

unsigned long a; // AND
unsigned long int a; // Are the same