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In this tutorial, you will learn and get about how to find largest or greatest number among given three numbers by user (at run-time) with and without using ternary operator. Here are the approaches you will go through:

- using if-else-if Statement
- using if-else Statement
- using Ternary Operator
- using Function

To find the largest number among given three numbers in C programming, you have to ask from the user to enter any three number, now start checking which one is the largest using if-else block as shown in the program given below:

#include<stdio.h> #include<conio.h> int main() { int a, b, c, big; printf("Enter three numbers: "); scanf("%d%d%d", &a, &b, &c); if(a>b) { if(b>c) big = a; else { if(c>a) big = c; else big = a; } } else { if(b>c) big = b; else big = c; } printf("\nLargest number = %d", big); getch(); return 0; }

As the above program was written under **Code::Blocks** IDE, therefore after successful build and run, you will get the following output:

Supply any three numbers say **3**, **1**, and **2**. Press `ENTER`

key to see the largest number as given in the second snapshot of the sample run:

Here is another sample run:

And here is the last sample run of above program:

Here are the cases, that user can enter the three numbers:

- first number as largest & second number as second largest
- first number as largest & third number as second largest
- second number as largest & first number as second largest
- second number as largest & third number as second largest
- third number as largest & first number as second largest
- third number as largest & second number as second largest

- Receive three numbers as input and store it inside the three variables as
first, second and third number say
**a**,**b**and**c** - Check whether the first number say
**a**is greater than the second number say**b** - If it is, then go to the
**if**block and check whether the value inside**b**is also greater than**c** - If it is, then the value present at the first number say
**a**will be initialized to the variable**big**, otherwise, check whether the third number say**c**is greater than the first number say**a** - If it is, then the value present at
**c**gets initialized to**big**, otherwise initialize**a**to**big**and come out from the**if**block - And if
**a**is less than**b**, then check whether**b**is greater than**c** - If it is, initialize the value of
**b**to**big**, otherwise initialize the value of**c**to**big** - Print the value of
**big**variable as output, that will be the largest value among the given three numbers

This program also does the same job but in a simple manner, using **if-else** statement of C language:

#include<stdio.h> #include<conio.h> int main() { int a, b, c, big; printf("Enter three numbers: "); scanf("%d%d%d", &a, &b, &c); if(a>b && a>c) big = a; else if(b>a && b>c) big = b; else big = c; printf("\nLargest number = %d", big); getch(); return 0; }

The above program is little simple to create and understand in comparison to the above one. You will see the same output as of previous one.

Again I'm going to create the same program using ternary operator (?:)

#include<stdio.h> #include<conio.h> int main() { int num1, num2, num3, large; printf("Enter any three numbers: "); scanf("%d%d%d", &num1, &num2, &num3); large = (num1>num2) ? ((num1>num3)?num1:num3) : ((num2>num3)?num2:num3); printf("Largest/Maximum number = %d", large); getch(); return 0; }

After successfully build and run the above program, here is the first screenshot of the sample run:

Now supply any three numbers as input say **12**, **23**, and **11** and then press `ENTER`

to see the following output:

- Receive any three numbers as input say
**num1**,**num2**, and**num3** - Use ternary operator (?:) and initialize the largest to the variable say
**large** - Here if value at
**num1**greater than value at**num2**- and value at
**num1**is also greater than value at**num3**- then
**num1**will be initialized to**large** - otherwise
**num3**will be initialized to**large**

- then

- and value at
- And if
**num2**is greater than**num1**- and
**num2**is also greater than**num3**- then
**num2**will be initialized to**large** - otherwise
**num3**will be initialized to**large**

- then

- and
- Print the value of variable
**large**that holds the largest value

Here we have used nested ternary operator, that is ternary operator inside the ternary operator.

This is another program doing the same job as of all the previous programs does. The only difference with previous
programs is, it is created using a user-defined function **findLarge()**.

#include<stdio.h> #include<conio.h> int findLarge(int, int, int); int main() { int a, b, c, big; printf("Enter three numbers: "); scanf("%d%d%d", &a, &b, &c); big = findLarge(a, b, c); printf("\nLargest number = %d", big); getch(); return 0; } int findLarge(int num1, int num2, int num3) { if(num1>num2) { if(num2>num3) return num1; else { if(num3>num1) return num3; else return num1; } } else { if(num2>num3) return num2; else return num3; } }

Here is the final snapshot of sample run:

Here the function takes the three given numbers as its argument and will return the largest one that will be
initialized to the variable say **big** inside the **main()** function. Print the value of big, that will hold
the largest value among the given three numbers. To learn more about function, then
you can follow separate tutorial on it.

- C++ Find Largest of three Numbers
- Java Find Largest of three Numbers
- Python Find Largest of three Numbers

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