Why array is not initialized inside if-statement?

Debojit Acharjee 435 Reputation points

I want to know why the text is not initialized to the array in the program below.

#include <stdio.h>

char a[] = "RED";

int main ()

int b=-1, c=0;

printf("Enter number: ");
//scanf("%d", b);

if (b < 0)

char a[] = "GREEN";
c = 1;


char a[] = "BLUE";

    printf("%d, %s", c, a);

    return 0;

In this program the if stamen is fired by the variable 'b', but why the array 'a' is not assigned the text "GREEN"? The output shows only the value of c.

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  1. YujianYao-MSFT 4,281 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi Debojit Acharjee,

    In your code, a is a global variable that is initialized to "RED" at the beginning of the program. And in the main function, you declare a local variable a and assign it the value "GREEN". However, when you refer to the variable a in the printf statement, it still refers to the global variable a.

    This is because in C language, local variables override global variables of the same name. The local variable a declared in the if statement block will shadow the scope of the global variable a, but it is only valid inside the if statement block. When you refer to a in the printf statement, it refers to the global variable a, not the local variable. And c is not redefined, it is still previously defined, so its value will change.

    If you set a breakpoint, we could see that the value of a in the if block will become "GREEN", and the value of a will no longer be "GREEN" when the if block is run out.

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    Best regards,

    Elya Yao

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