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Is using exit() the same as using return?

No. The exit() function is used to exit your program and return control
 to the operating system. The return statement is used to return from a
 function and return control to the calling function. If you issue a return
 from the main() function, you are essentially returning control to the
 calling function, which is the operating system. In this case, the return
 statement and exit() function are similar.