When you declare a variable, a function, or even a class all you are doing is saying: there is something with this name, and it has this type. The compiler can then handle most (but not all) uses of that name without needing the full definition of that name. Declaring a value–without defining it–allows you to write code that the compiler can understand without having to put all of the details. This is particularly useful if you are working with multiple source files, and you need to use a function in multiple files. You don’t want to put the body of the function in multiple files, but you do need to provide a declaration for it. (Source: Wikipedia)