C for beginners: The Loop Control Structure

Multiple Initialisations in the for Loop

The initialisation expression of the for loop can contain more than one statement separated by a comma. For example:

for (int i = 0, j = 2; j <= 10; j++) {
  // Loop content here

Multiple statements can also be used in the incrementation expression of the for loop; for example, you can increment (or decrement) two or more variables at the same time. However, only one expression is allowed in the test expression. This expression may contain several conditions linked together using logical operators.

Use of multiple statements in the initialisation also demonstrates why semicolons are used to separate the three expressions in the for loop. If commas had been used, they could not also have been used to separate multiple statements in the initialisation expression, without confusing the compiler.