10 Important Difference between If-else and Switch Case

What is the difference between if-else and switch case?

If-else and switch case is selection statements that are quite popular in a computer programming language. These statements tend to confuse a lot of people learning different programming languages. 

The main difference between if-else and switch case is that the if-else in C programming is a conditional statement that executes a different set of statements based on the condition that is true or false whereas the switch case is a conditional statement used in C programming to check the value of a variable and compare it with all the cases.

The lesson provides the core difference between If-else and switches case selection statement both in tabular and point form. Let’s find out:

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What Is the If-else?

If-else is a programing language that provides a conditional statement that runs different sets of statements based on the “true and false” expressions.

The expression evaluated can be “true” for any non-zero values and “false” for zero values. The else statement can either be a single statement or a block statements.

The expression in if statement tends to contain integers, pointers, character and floating-point. The else statement is normally optional in an if-else statement.

Example of If-else Statement:

Difference Between if-else and switch

Main Features of If-else Statement

  • If support statements for true part only
  • If-else support statements for true and false
  • If the test expression is true then a true block statement is executed otherwise
  • Either the true block statement or false block statement is executed every time

What Is the Switch Case?

The switch case statement is a programming language that used to test the value of a variable as compared to its multiple causes.

In case the expression evaluates an integer or a constant then the evaluation can be based on equality. If the expression evaluates against a constant then a match needs to be found.

A break statement tends to be optional in a switch statement. But the absence of a break statement will result in a nonstop execution until the end of the switch statement.

Switch statement normally uses keyboard commands and the expression usually contain a single expression.

Example of Switch Case Statement

Difference Between if-else and switch

Main Features of the Switch Case

  • Multiple-way decision
  • Tend to test whether the expression matches any of the constant values
  • The expression can be an integer or character expression
  • Each case is labelled by either one or two integers
  • There must be the value of all expressions
  • If the case matches the value of the expression then execution starts

Comparison Chart: (If-else vs Switch Case)

Basic Terms If-else Statement Switch Case Statement
Meaning The statement will be executed depending on the expression value inside the if-else statement The statement execution is determined by the user
Expression Uses multiple statements for multiple decisions Uses a single statement for multiple decisions
Testing Test logical expressions and equality Test only for equality
Evaluation Evaluates integers, characters, floating points, pointers and boolean type. Evaluates character expressions and integers
Sequence of Execution Either else or if statement will be executed Execute each case one after the other until a break statement appears.
Default Execution If the condition inside the if-statement is false then by default the else statement is executed if created. If the switch statement does not match any case then the default statement is executed if created.
Editing Tend to be difficult to edit if-else statement when the nested if-else statement is used. Easy to edit if-else statement and they can easily be recognized.
Values Values are based on constraints Values are based on user choice
Use Use to evaluate conditions if true or false Use multiple values for the same variable or expression.

Main Difference between If-else and Switch Case

  1. If-else statement is used to select among two choices while the switch case statement is used to select among multiple choices.
  2. If-else values are based on constraints while switch case values are based on user choices.
  3. If-else statements are used to implement a linear search while switch case statement to implement binary search.
  4. Tend to be quite tough to edit if-else statement when the nested if-else statement is used while the switch case statement is simple to edit.

Similarities between If Else and Switch Case

  1. Both used in the control flow of programs
  2. Both are used in the evaluation of conditions
  3. Both tend to be identical except the way of representation

Comparison Video


Programing language tends to be difficult for beginners and it is recommended to understand terms such as if-else and switch-case statements.

The difference between if-else and switch-case statements listed in the article are worth reading to improve your programming skills. 

More Sources and References

  • https://hackr.io/blog/python-conditional-statements-switch-if-else
  • http://www.phpknowhow.com/basics/if-else-and-switch-case/ 

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