Alarmed Dino Alarmed Dino - 4 months ago 37
C++ Question

c++ - Data Types Evaluate Differently

I'm still very new to c++ so this might be a stupid question. In the code below why is it that when i change the type of index to a signed char,

index > 25
evaluates to true. Isn't a signed char just a 1 byte integer?

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

char lowercase [26] = {'a','b','c','d','e','f','g','h','i','j','k','l','m','n','o','p','q','r','s','t','u','v','w','x','y','z'};

int main() {
short index;

cout << "Enter a number 0 to 25: ";
cin >> index;
if (index > 25 || index < 0) {
cout << "That number is out of range." << endl;
return 0;
cout << "The lowercase letter for this number is " << lowercase[index] << "." << endl;
return 0;


Let's rephrase the problem just a bit:

char index;
cin >> index;

It may be easier to see the problem. When you read input into a char, you get the character code for the first character entered by the user. In a typical system, this is ASCII, and the code for digits is between 48 and 57.

So when you get input into index when it is a signed character, you'll get a value that is >= 48.