C++ break Statement

C++ break Statement

In this tutorial, we will learn about the break statement and its working in loops with the help of examples.

In computer programming, the break statement is used to terminate the loop in which it is used.

The syntax of the break statement is:

break;

Before you learn about the break statement, make sure you know about:


Working of C++ break Statement

Working of C++ break Statement
Working of break statement in C++

Example 1: break with for loop

// program to print the value of i

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    for (int i = 1; i <= 5; i++) {
        // break condition     
        if (i == 3) {
            break;
        }
        cout << i << endl;
    }

return 0;
}

Output

1
2

In the above program, the for loop is used to print the value of i in each iteration. Here, notice the code:

if (i == 3) {
    break;
}

This means, when i is equal to 3, the break statement terminates the loop. Hence, the output doesn't include values greater than or equal to 3.

Note: The break statement is usually used with decision-making statements.


Example 2: break with while loop

// program to find the sum of positive numbers
// if the user enters a negative numbers, break ends the loop
// the negative number entered is not added to sum

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    int number;
    int sum = 0;

    while (true) {
        // take input from the user
        cout << "Enter a number: ";
        cin >> number;

        // break condition
        if (number < 0) {
            break;
        }

        // add all positive numbers
        sum += number;
    }

    // display the sum
    cout << "The sum is " << sum << endl;

    return 0;
}

Output

Enter a number: 1
Enter a number: 2
Enter a number: 3
Enter a number: -5
The sum is 6. 

In the above program, the user enters a number. The while loop is used to print the total sum of numbers entered by the user. Here, notice the code,

if(number < 0) {
    break;
}

This means, when the user enters a negative number, the break statement terminates the loop and codes outside the loop are executed.

The while loop continues until the user enters a negative number.


break with Nested loop

When break is used with nested loops, break terminates the inner loop. For example,

// using break statement inside
// nested for loop

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

int main() {
    int number;
    int sum = 0;

    // nested for loops

    // first loop
    for (int i = 1; i <= 3; i++) {
        // second loop
        for (int j = 1; j <= 3; j++) {
            if (i == 2) {
                break;
            }
            cout << "i = " << i << ", j = " << j << endl;
        }
    }

    return 0;
}

Output

i = 1, j = 1
i = 1, j = 2
i = 1, j = 3
i = 3, j = 1
i = 3, j = 2
i = 3, j = 3

In the above program, the break statement is executed when i == 2. It terminates the inner loop, and the control flow of the program moves to the outer loop.

Hence, the value of i = 2 is never displayed in the output.


The break statement is also used with the switch statement. To learn more, visit C++ switch statement.