Harshit Jindal Harshit Jindal -3 years ago 36
C Question

Issue clearing input stream in C

I've recently started learning C, and while trying to make a simple calculator, I encountered an issue while trying to clear the input stream. I tried using

but apparently, it didn't do anything.

Operating System: macOS Sierra (Version 10.12.5 (16F73))

Apple LLVM version 8.1.0 (clang-802.0.42)

Editor Used: Sublime Text 3

Here is my code:

#include <stdio.h>

int main()
int num1, num2;
char opr;
char choice = 'y';

while (choice == 'y') {
printf("Enter numbers separated with a comma: \n");
scanf("%d, %d", &num1, &num2);

printf("Enter an operator: \n");
fflush (stdin);
scanf("%c", &opr);

switch (opr) {
case '+':
printf("The sum is %ld\n", (long int) num1 + num2);
case '-':
printf("The difference is %ld\n", (long int) num1 - num2);
case '*':
printf("The product is %ld\n", (long int) num1 * num2);
case '/':
printf("The quotient is %ld and the remainder is %ld\n",
(long int) num1 / num2, (long int) num1 % num2);
printf("You've entered an undefined operator\n");
printf("Please enter + - * or /\n");

printf("Do you want to repeat? (y/n): \n");
scanf("%c", &choice);

return 0;

Here is the terminal output:

$ ./calculator_basic
Enter numbers separated with a comma:
20, 30
Enter an operator:
You've entered an undefined operator
Please enter + - * or /
Do you want to repeat? (y/n):

An easy solution that I found out was to simply interchange the places of

printf("Enter numbers separated with a comma: \n");<br>
scanf("%d, %d", &num1, &num2);


printf("Enter an operator: \n");
fflush (stdin);
scanf("%c", &opr);

I understand that the problem is due to the enter key being stored in the input buffer after entering the numbers in
scanf("%d, %d", &num1, &num2);

scanf("%c", &opr);
then uses this stored enter key (in the buffer) as its input which creates the problem (ie: none of the cases in
defined by me work and the default case runs, all this without even me being able to enter an operator)

I tried using
before getting new character inputs but it doesn't seem to work.

The thing is that
is working when I'm trying to run this code in a Windows system, but it's not working on macOS regardless of the editor I'm using (tried both Sublime Text 3 and Visual Studio Code)

Can anyone help me out regarding why
might not be working.
Also I've read about it on the internet and one solution was to use
instead of
. I tried it but this didn't work as well. I don't want to interchange those two pieces of codes (mentioned above) because that would be hit and trial. I want to run the code in the same order (entering the numbers first and then the operator)

Also, I know questions on
have been asked previously, but I've read the answers and can't seem to figure out anything that works for me.

Answer Source

Newline character

To remove the (only) newline character left the buffer, add a space in the format string. space directive matches with any no of white spaces (even 0).

scanf(" %c", &opr);

or you could just use getchar() whenever needed.

Now the code will work properly as long as you are entering input correctly.

If there's more than single character use the following code to flush i/p stream.

Flushing stdin

To flush the input stream try one of the following ways.



    int ch;
    while((ch = getchar()) != '\n' && ch != EOF);

use it only when you are certain that the buffer isn't empty otherwise in either case the code expects/prompts for an input.


 scanf("%d, %d", &num1, &num2);

Unless you wrote it intentionally ',' and space (' ') are redundant. If that's the case scanf() expects two integers two be seperated with a comma and a possible whitespace(s).

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