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# Chapter 3. Literals

In C source code, a literal is a token that denotes a fixed value, which may be an integer , a floating-point number, a character, or a string. A literal's type is determined by its value and its notation.

The literals discussed here are different from compound literals , which were introduced in the C99 standard. Compound literals are ordinary modifiable objects, similar to variables. For a full description of compound literals and the special operator used to create them, see Chapter 5.

# Integer Constants

An integer constant can be expressed as an ordinary decimal numeral, or as a numeral in octal or hexadecimal notation. You must specify the intended notation by a prefix.

A decimal constant begins with a nonzero digit. For example, `255` is the decimal constant for the base-10 value 255.

A number that begins with a leading zero is interpreted as an octal constant. Octal (or base eight) notation uses only the digits from 0 to 7. For example, `047` is a valid octal constant representing 4 × 8 + 7, and is equivalent with the decimal constant `39`. The decimal constant `255` is equal to the octal constant `0377`.

A hexadecimal constant begins with the prefix `0x` or `0X`. The hexadecimal digits A to F can be upper- or lowercase. For example, `0xff`, `0Xff`, `0xFF`, and `0XFF` represent the same hexadecimal constant, which is equivalent to the decimal constant `255`.

Because the integer constants you define will eventually be used in expressions and declarations, their type is important. ...

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