I started off with a really simple hash function, where words are indexed according to their first letter, so a would be 0, b = 1 etc. Then I insert a piece of code into the load function, which looks at other letters in the word if something is already inserted at that index. So for instance, if we had "dog" and "dopamine", both would hash to 3, but then "dopamine" would go into a node later on in the linked list after going through the comparison loop. The only problem that I have, according to gdb, is that I have no idea how to exit said loop. Here is the code:

// if a node with that index already exists, separate chaining
    new_node->next = NULL;

    // use separate chaining...I guess :P
    // traverse the list
    node*prev = NULL;
    for(node* cur = hashtable[index]; cur != NULL; cur = cur->next)
        // compare words inside the list, letter by letter
        for(int i = 1; i <strlen(new_node->word); i++)
            if(cur->word[i] < new_node->word[i])
                continue;  // break
                prev = cur;

So in essence, how would I jump from the continue statement to the outside of both for loops? I tried using break, continue, and something called goto I found online. The goto method looked sensible but the program wouldn't compile when I used it, so I would massively appreciate help :)

2 Answers 2


Use a function where you have the innermost for loop. That's the cleanest way. I have used "goto", i have to confess, but i used it at a time at which i wasn't too sure how to use functions. By now you should either know how to use them, or learn how to, imo.

Although i'm not too sure why you would want to check for the alphabetical order in which the words are loaded, since the dictionary is already alphabetically sorted :)

  • Oh dear. You're right, I totally forgot the words were sorted! slow clap for self Thank you for your response nonetheless! Sep 20, 2015 at 8:54

I don't understand exactly what you are trying to do in your code, and even though goto would solve your problem I think it's really bad in your code, especially when you are beginning your journey into programming.

To break through both of your loops, you can use a bool variable (I'll call it flag) like so. The loops normally would print 25 lines (5 * 5) but I want it to break when both values are 2, so I add the condition I want and change flag to false:

bool flag = true;

for (int i = 0; (i < 5) && flag; i++)
    for (int j = 0; (j < 5) && flag; j++)
        printf("i == %d ", i);
        printf("j == %d\n", j);
        if (i == 2 && j == 2)
            flag = false;


i == 0 j == 0
i == 0 j == 1
i == 0 j == 2
i == 0 j == 3
i == 0 j == 4
i == 1 j == 0
i == 1 j == 1
i == 1 j == 2
i == 1 j == 3
i == 1 j == 4
i == 2 j == 0
i == 2 j == 1
i == 2 j == 2

See that I added flag in the condition that stops both loops, so if I turn flag to false, both of them will exit the next time they execute. Hopefully you can extrapolate this and integrate it in your own code.

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