difference between c and python

Data Science

Comparing C and Python: Which language is right for you?


Gurneet Kaur

Data Science Consultant at almaBetter

people4 mins


Published on09 May, 2023

Programming languages are crucial tools for the creation of software. The two most well-liked programming languages are C and Python.

However, what exactly is the difference between C and Python? To assist you in choosing which language to utilize for your next Data Science project, we will examine the disparities between the two languages in this blog, along with some examples.

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Python and C have quite distinct syntaxes. However, some essential things to consider:

Unlike Python, which utilizes indentation to identify code blocks, C code is written with curly brackets () to indicate code blocks.

While Python does not require semicolons ( ; ) after each statement, C does.

Because C is a statically typed language, you must define the data type of each variable. Conversely, Python is dynamically typed; therefore, you do not need to choose the data type. Here’s an example: an integer variable would be declared as follows in C: int x = 10; in Python, you would write: x = 10.

You can choose which programming language to use by knowing these syntax differences between C and Python.

Data types

Programmers can choose from a variety of data types in both C and Python.

While Python offers more high-level data types like lists, tuples, and dictionaries, C has more basic data types like char, int, and float.

Python is dynamically typed compared to C, where a variable’s type is determined at runtime. C is a statically typed language, meaning a variable’s type must be stated before it is used.

While Python offers automatic memory management and garbage collection, C supports direct memory manipulation.

For instance, in Python, “c = ‘a’” would be used to declare a character variable instead of the C equivalent of “char c = ‘a’;”. The complexity and readability of code in each language can be impacted by these variations in data types.

Memory management

Different approaches to memory management are used in C and Python.

Using functions like malloc() and free(), manual memory allocation and deallocation are required in C. However, it can also result in issues like memory leaks or segmentation faults. This allows developers more direct control over memory utilization.

Python uses a garbage collector for autonomous memory management. In other words, the language automatically releases memory when it is no longer required, which facilitates safer and easier coding but may also affect performance.

Python also offers reference counting capabilities for shared memory management. This makes it simpler to work with large data sets and prevents memory leaks.

Object-oriented programming

C and Python have different approaches to object-oriented programming. Here are some of the key differences between C and Python with example.

The object-oriented features of classes and objects are not entirely supported by the object-oriented language C. The usage of structures and function pointers allows for the creation of object-oriented code.

Python is a fully object-oriented language with support for classes, objects, and inheritance. It makes it simpler to build object-oriented programming because it comes with built-in support for creating and using objects.

In Python, for instance, you may define a class’s methods and attributes as follows:

class Person: def init(self, name, age): = name self.age = age

def introduce(self):
    print("Hi, my name is",, "and I am", self.age, "years old.")

In C, you can create a struct and define functions to operate on it, like this:

typedef struct { char name[50]; int age; } Person;

void introduce(Person *p) { printf(“Hi, my name is %s and I am %d years old.”, p->name, p->age); }


Developers can choose from multiple libraries for Python and C.

Although there are many libraries for C, most are low-level and focused on tasks like file I/O, networking, or cryptography. The Standard Library, OpenSSL, and libcurl are well-known C libraries.

There are several libraries for Python, many of which are specialized in fields like Data Science, Web Development, or Machine Learning. Many people are familiar with the Python libraries NumPy, Pandas, Flask, and Tensorflow.


In terms of design and implementation, C and Python perform differently from one another.

Because C is a compiled language, a compiler transforms it into machine code before the code is run. Because of this, C programs run incredibly quickly and efficiently.

The Python interpreter runs the code directly because Python is an interpreted language. This can sometimes result in Python software running more slowly than C programs.

Use cases

Python and C each have unique advantages and disadvantages that make them appropriate for particular use situations. Here are a few instances:

Use C if you need to create high-performance software, such as operating systems, game engines, or simulations for scientific purposes.

Use Python when you need to create scripts, web applications, or data analysis software that can take advantage of Python’s rich library system.


In the end, C and Python each have advantages and disadvantages. You should choose the appropriate language depending on your unique use case and requirements.

Do you want to learn more about C and Python? Join AlmaBetter’s Web Development course and Data Science course to understand such concepts better and upgrade your knowledge and skills.

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