Question: Suppose you represent every number with a character like

0 –> a, 1 –> b, 2 –> c, ………………24 –> y, 25 –> z

Now given a number, give words combinations for it.

Example: 1234
=> 1-2-3-4, 12-2-4, 1-23-4
=> bcde, mde, bxe

Answer: As we are seeing in example, we can see that every time we can club at most 2 numbers at a time. And that too only if they form a number less than 25 (=> z). Now if we divide this problem in sub-problems (sub string) and append the result of second part to result of first part recursively, whoa! We are done.

Example: Lets say our input is “121324”, and our generation function is Calculate(), then output will be like:

This process will stop, once we reach the last character in input string. Now this is a simple recursion now, with few things in mind:

  1. Recursion will stop once we reach the last character in input string.
  2. While we are combining 2 characters, we should take care that it doesn’t exceed 25.

//  1234 => 1-2-3-4, 12-2-4, 1-23-4 => bcde, mde, bxe

#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

char arr[] = {'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f', 'g', 'h', 'i', 'j', 'k', 'l', 'm', 'n', 'o', 'p', 'q', 'r', 's', 't', 'u', 'v', 'w', 'x', 'y', 'z'};

char input[100];
int len;

void print_combination(int index, char out[], int outindex)
  if(index == len){
  out[outindex] = '\0';
  cout << out << endl;
 if(index <= (len - 1)){
  out[outindex] = arr[int(input[index]) - 48];
  print_combination(index+1, out, outindex+1);

  if(index <= (len - 2)){
  int num = (int(input[index])-48)*10 + (int(input[index+1])-48);  
    if (num <= 25){
   out[outindex] = arr[num];
   print_combination(index+2, out, outindex+1);

int main(int argc, char* argv[])
 char out[100] = {'\0',};
 if (argc < 2)
 len = strlen(input); 
 print_combination(0, out, 0);
Update: We can also consider memoization to save repetitive call for same substring.

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