C++ vs. Python: Everything You Need to Know

Python and C++ are both general-purpose programming languages. Both languages are pretty different when it comes to overall approaches like syntax, usage, etc. But still, it gets difficult while you select the correct language. In this tutorial on C++ vs. Python, you will cover everything you need to know about C++ and Python so that it gets easy for you to select a suitable language. 

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    What Is C++?

    C++ is a programming language that Bjarne Stroustrup introduced in 1979 in New Jersey. It is a general-purpose programming language that means it is used to build software for a wide variety of applications. Earlier it was called C with classes instead of C++ because it was created as an extension of the C language.

    C++ is considered as an intermediate-level programming language, as it contains both the features of high-level programming and low-level programming language.


    Syntax of C++

    The syntax of C++ includes.

    • Header files
    • Main function
    • Class
    • Methods
    • Objects
    • Instance variables
    • Return statement

    Header files: Header files that are included at the top of the program. These files instruct the compiler to include all the required functions associated with the header file. This is included using the preprocessor directive #include.

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    The <iostream> is the header file that is generally included in the C++ programs, and this file allows us to use input-output operations.

    Main function: The main function can be called an entry point from where the execution of our program starts. Every C++ program contains the main function, and whenever the program is executed, the control directly goes to the main function.

    Class: A class can be defined as a blueprint that describes the behavior of objects, or you can say it is a collection of objects. Class is defined with the keyword class, and it has its own members called member functions or methods, variables and constructors, etc.

    Methods: Method or function is one of the most important parts of C++ programming because it is used to write logic, perform data manipulation, and all other essential operations inside the method. You can give the name to the function along with the return type, and then inside the brackets, we can write the operations or logic.

    Objects: Objects can be defined as an instance of a class. If an object is created for a particular class, then that object can be used to access data members and functions of that class using the dot operator. It can be done by writing the name of the object preceding the dot operator and then the function name following round brackets.

    Instance variables: These are those variables that are defined inside the class but are outside the methods. They basically belong to the object, and every object has its own unique set of instance variables.

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    What Is Python?

    Python is a programming language that Guido van Rossum introduced in the year 1991. It was named after a TV show, Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Python is a high-level object-oriented programming language. It is one of the easiest and simplest languages to learn, as it is close to the pseudocode. 

    Its 2.0 version was released in October 2000, that included new features like garbage collection for memory management. Python is widely used in machine learning, data analysis, statistics, etc. Python supports multiple programming models, including procedural, object-oriented, and functional programming. It also contains features like dynamic binding and dynamic typing.


    Syntax of Python

    The syntax of Python includes:

    • Comments
    • Docstrings
    • Indentation
    • Quotation
    • Identifiers
    • Variables
    • String formatters

    Comments: Comments in Python are used to store tags at the right places in the code. It is basically used to explain sections of code and is declared using the # symbol. 

    Docstrings: Docstring is also used to explain the code in Python. The programmer can inspect them at runtime. Its boundaries are determined by using three double quotes and inside these double quotes, you can write or explain.

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    Indentation: In Python, indentation means the spaces at the beginning of the code line; if there is no space, it will show a syntax error. You can indent use the space or the number of tabs.

    Quotation: Quotations are used to create string objects in Python. If you use a single quote at the beginning of the string, then you must end it with the single quote itself, and the same goes for double quotes as well.

    Identifiers: Identifiers are used to define an element in Python uniquely; now that element can be variable, function, class, etc., there are some rules associated with it. An identifier can only begin with uppercase A to Z and lowercase a to z or an underscore.

    Variables: Python is a dynamically typed language, so we don’t define the type of variable; it is decided on the basis of value. You can assign a string to the variable and integer to the variable; it will print them both.

    String formatters: The string formatter is used to present and format the string into a nicer output.

    Uses of C++ Language

    • C++ is used for game development. It can handle the complexities of 3d games, and it also provides multilayer networking, which makes it capable of developing gaming systems and 3d games.
    • C++ is used for making compilers for other programming languages as it is considered closer to the hardware.
    • It also plays a major role in software development. C++ is used to develop advanced software applications; for example, Adobe, Spotify, and Youtube have different parts written in C++.
    • C++ is also used for making embedded systems. It is closer to the hardware, and hence it is preferred for manufacturing gadgets like smartwatches, medical instruments, IoT devices, etc.

    Uses of Python Language

    • Python is widely used in modern technologies, like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Python is suitable to build machine learning models because of its support for various libraries.            
    • Python is used for web development. It has many frameworks that reduce your task a lot. Python provides Django and Flask for website development.
    • Python is also used in software development as a supporting language; it was used for developing the Dropbox desktop app.
    • Python is popularly used in robotics and is one language that is commonly used for Robotic Process Automation.           

    Features of C++ Language

    • C++ is a portable language, which means you can use the same piece of code in different environments.
    • C++ is a fast and efficient language.
    • C++ allows dynamic memory allocation. 
    • Unlike C, C++ is an object-oriented language and has concepts like abstraction polymorphism, inheritance, etc.

    Features of Python Language

    • Python is a platform-independent language. You can run the same code on different platforms, and it is an open-source language.
    • Python is also an object-oriented language and has features like dynamic type checking and high readability.
    • Python supports automatic garbage collection and interactive modes of debugging and testing.
    • Python has a large standard library, and because of that, you don't have to write the code for every single task.

    Key Differences Between C++ and Python



    Simplicity of language

    C++ is a bit complex when it comes to the simplicity of language, and it has more syntax rules as well as program conventions.

    Simplicity of language

    Python is a friendly language. It has a simple and easy-to-learn syntax. Moreover, its features are easy to use, which allows you to write short and readable code. 


    C++ is faster than Python because it is statically typed, which leads to a faster compilation of code.


    Python is slower than C++, it supports dynamic typing, and it also uses the interpreter, which makes the process of compilation slower.

    Memory management

    In C++, memory management takes place manually as it doesn’t have any garbage collector. Moreover, it uses pointers which make it more vulnerable to memory leaks.

    Memory management

    Python provides automatically programmed memory management as there is a garbage collector in python.


    If you want to declare any variable, then you need to declare it with its type. 


    In Python, you don’t need to declare any data type with the variable.


    Python is widely used in technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc., and popularly used in back-end development.


    C++ is good in hardware-level coding; that is why it is widely used to make embedded systems. 

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    After reading this tutorial on C++ vs Python, you would have understood what C++ is, along with the syntax of C++ and, similarly, Python along with its syntax. You also learned about the uses and features of C++ and Python and the difference between both languages.

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    Do you have any questions regarding this article on Python vs C++? If you do, then please put them in the comments section. We’ll help you solve your queries. To learn more about Python vs C++, click on the following link: C++ vs Python

    Happy learning!

    About the Author

    Ravikiran A SRavikiran A S

    Ravikiran A S works with Simplilearn as a Research Analyst. He an enthusiastic geek always in the hunt to learn the latest technologies. He is proficient with Java Programming Language, Big Data, and powerful Big Data Frameworks like Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark.

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