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C String Literals


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A "string literal" is a sequence of characters from the source character set enclosed in double quotation marks (" "). String literals are used to represent a sequence of characters which, taken together, form a null-terminated string. You must always prefix wide-string literals with the letter L.

" s-char-sequence opt"

L" s-char-sequence opt"


s-char-sequence s-char

any member of the source character set except the double quotation mark ("), backslash (\), or newline character


The example below is a simple string literal:

char *amessage = "This is a string literal.";  

All escape codes listed in the Escape Sequences table are valid in string literals. To represent a double quotation mark in a string literal, use the escape sequence \". The single quotation mark (') can be represented without an escape sequence. The backslash (\) must be followed with a second backslash (\\) when it appears within a string. When a backslash appears at the end of a line, it is always interpreted as a line-continuation character.

Elements of C