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Returning from a Function

  • A return statement is used when a function to be terminated whether or not it returns a value.

  • It is used as an immediate exit from the function.

  • While the return statement is used it returns back the control to the main function.

  • A function may contain several return statements.



int f();

int f(int);

void main()


int x;

cout<<"\n enter the value of x";





int f()




int f(int a)


return(a * a);


Return by reference

  • Return by reference returns a globally declared variable to the calling function.

  • The call statement must be in the left hand side of an assignment statement.

  • The right hand side value will be assigned to the returned reference variable.

  • The general format of function declarations is given below.

datatype &function_name(type 1&, type 2&,......)

& - reference operator
Type 1& - valid datatype and are optional.
The function definition general format is

datatype &function_name(type 1 &var1, type2 &var2,......)






&- reference operators.
Function calling
  • The general format of function calling is
Function_name(var1, var2.....)=expression
Note: only the function returning a reference can appear on the left-hand side of an assignment operator.


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