L-value: “l-value” refers to memory location which identifies an object. l-value may appear as either left hand or right hand side of an assignment operator(=). l-value often represents as identifier.
Expressions referring to modifiable locations are called “modifiable l-values“. A modifiable l-value cannot have an array type, an incomplete type, or a type with the const attribute. For structures and unions to be modifiable lvalues, they must not have any members with the const attribute. The name of the identifier denotes a storage location, while the value of the variable is the value stored at that location.
An identifier is a modifiable lvalue if it refers to a memory location and if its type is arithmetic, structure, union, or pointer. For example, if ptr is a pointer to a storage region, then *ptr is a modifiable l-value that designates the storage region to which ptr points.
In C, the concept was renamed as “locator value”, and referred to expressions that locate (designate) objects. The l-value is one of the following:
- The name of the variable of any type i.e, an identifier of integral, floating, pointer, structure, or union type.
- A subscript ([ ]) expression that does not evaluate to an array.
- A unary-indirection (*) expression that does not refer to an array
- An l-value expression in parentheses.
- A const object (a nonmodifiable l-value).
- The result of indirection through a pointer, provided that it isn’t a function pointer.
- The result of member access through pointer(-> or .)
R-value: r-value” refers to data value that is stored at some address in memory. A r-value is an expression that can’t have a value assigned to it which means r-value can appear on right but not on left hand side of an assignment operator(=).
Note: The unary & (address-of) operator requires an lvalue as its operand. That is, &n is a valid expression only if n is an lvalue. Thus, an expression such as &12 is an error. Again, 12 does not refer to an object, so it’s not addressable. For instance,
Remembering the mnemonic, that lvalues can appear on the left of an assignment operator while rvalues can appear on the right