< cpp‎ | language
C++ language
General topics
Flow control
Conditional execution statements
Iteration statements (loops)
range-for (C++11)
Jump statements
Function declaration
Lambda function expression
inline specifier
Dynamic exception specifications (until C++20)
noexcept specifier (C++11)
decltype (C++11)
auto (C++11)
alignas (C++11)
Storage duration specifiers
Alternative representations
Boolean - Integer - Floating-point
Character - String - nullptr (C++11)
User-defined (C++11)
Attributes (C++11)
typedef declaration
Type alias declaration (C++11)
Implicit conversions - Explicit conversions
static_cast - dynamic_cast
const_cast - reinterpret_cast
Memory allocation
Class-specific function properties
explicit (C++11)
Special member functions
label : statement
Expression statements
expression ;
Compound statements
{ statement... }
Selection statements
Iteration statements
range for(C++11)
Jump statements
Declaration statements
declaration ;
Try blocks
try compound-statement handler-sequence
Transactional memory
synchronized, atomic_commit, etc(TM TS)

Statements are fragments of the C++ program that are executed in sequence. The body of any function is a sequence of statements. For example:

int main() {
    int n = 1;                        // declaration statement
    n = n + 1;                        // expression statement
    std::cout << "n = " << n << '\n'; // expression statement
    return 0;                         // return statement

C++ includes the following types of statements:

1) labeled statements;
2) expression statements;
3) compound statements;
4) selection statements;
5) iteration statements;
6) jump statements;
7) declaration statements;
8) try blocks;
9) atomic and synchronized blocks (TM TS).

Labeled statements

A labeled statement labels a statement for control flow purposes.

attr(optional) identifier : statement (1)
attr(optional) case constexpr : statement (2)
attr(optional) default : statement (3)
1) target for goto;
2) case label in a switch statement;
3) default label in a switch statement.

A statement may carry multiple labels.

An attribute sequence attr may appear just before the label (in which case it applies to the label), or just before any statement itself, in which case it applies to the entire statement.

(since C++11)

A label with an identifier declared inside a function matches all goto statements with the same identifier in that function, in all nested blocks, before and after its own declaration.

Two labels in a function must not have the same identifier.

Labels are not found by unqualified lookup: a label can have the same name as any other entity in the program.

void f() {
        goto label; // label in scope even though declared later
    goto label; // label ignores block scope
void g() {
    goto label; // error: label not in scope in g()

Expression statements

An expression statement is an expression followed by a semicolon.

attr(optional) expression(optional) ; (1)
attr - (since C++11) optional sequence of any number of attributes
expression - an expression

Most statements in a typical C++ program are expression statements, such as assignments or function calls.

An expression statement without an expression is called a null statement. It is often used to provide an empty body to a for or while loop. It can also be used to carry a label in the end of a compound statement.

Compound statements

A compound statement or block groups a sequence of statements into a single statement.

attr(optional) { statement...(optional) } (1)

When one statement is expected, but multiple statements need to be executed in sequence (for example, in an if statement or a loop), a compound statement may be used:

if (x > 5)          // start of if statement
{                   // start of block
    int n = 1;      // declaration statement
    std::cout << n; // expression statement
}                   // end of block, end of if statement

Each compound statement introduces its own block scope; variables declared inside a block are destroyed at the closing brace in reverse order:

int main()
{ // start of outer block
    {                                // start of inner block
        std::ofstream f("test.txt"); // declaration statement
        f << "abc\n";                // expression statement
    }                                // end of inner block, f is flushed and closed
    std::ifstream f("test.txt"); // declaration statement
    std::string str;             // declaration statement
    f >> str;                    // expression statement
} // end of outer block, str is destroyed, f is closed

Selection statements

A selection statement chooses between one of several control flows.

attr(optional) if constexpr(optional) ( init-statement(optional) condition ) statement (1)
attr(optional) if constexpr(optional) ( init-statement(optional) condition ) statement else statement (2)
attr(optional) switch ( init-statement(optional) condition ) statement (3)
attr(optional) if !(optional) consteval compound-statement (4) (since C++23)
attr(optional) if !(optional) consteval compound-statement else statement (5) (since C++23)
1) if statement;
2) if statement with an else clause;
3) switch statement;
4) consteval if statement;
5) consteval if statement with an else clause.

Iteration statements

An iteration statement repeatedly executes some code.

attr(optional) while ( condition ) statement (1)
attr(optional) do statement while ( expression ) ; (2)
attr(optional) for ( init-statement condition(optional) ; expression(optional) ) statement (3)
attr(optional) for ( for-range-decl : for-range-init ) statement (4) (since C++11)
1) while loop;
2) do-while loop;
3) for loop;
4) range for loop.

Jump statements

A jump statement unconditionally transfers control flow.

attr(optional) break ; (1)
attr(optional) continue ; (2)
attr(optional) return expression(optional) ; (3)
attr(optional) return braced-init-list ; (4) (since C++11)
attr(optional) goto identifier ; (5)
1) break statement;
2) continue statement;
3) return statement with an optional expression;
4) return statement using list initialization;
5) goto statement.

Note: for all jump statements, transfer out of a loop, out of a block, or back past an initialized variable with automatic storage duration involves the destruction of objects with automatic storage duration that are in scope at the point transferred from but not at the point transferred to. If multiple objects were initialized, the order of destruction is the opposite of the order of initialization.

Declaration statements

A declaration statement introduces one or more identifiers into a block.

block-declaration (1)
1) see Declarations and Initialization for details.

Try blocks

A try block catches exceptions thrown when executing other statements.

attr(optional) try compound-statement handler-sequence (1)
1) see try/catch for details.

Atomic and synchronized blocks

An atomic and synchronized block provides transactional memory.

synchronized compound-statement (1) (TM TS)
atomic_noexcept compound-statement (2) (TM TS)
atomic_cancel compound-statement (3) (TM TS)
atomic_commit compound-statement (4) (TM TS)
1) synchronized block, executed in single total order with all synchronized blocks;
2) atomic block that aborts on exceptions;
3) atomic block that rolls back on exceptions;
4) atomic block that commits on exceptions.

See also