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PHP Cookbook: Interpolating Functions and Expressions Within Strings

You want to include the results of executing a function or expression within a string.

Use the string concatenation operator (.), as shown in Example 1-27, when the value you want to include can’t be inside the string.

Example 1-27. String concatenation

print 'You have '.($_REQUEST['boys'] + $_REQUEST['girls']).' children.';
print "The word '$word' is ".strlen($word).' characters long.';
print 'You owe '.$amounts['payment'].' immediately';
print "My circle's diameter is ".$circle->getDiameter().' inches.';

You can put variables, object properties, and array elements (if the subscript is unquoted) directly in double-quoted strings:

print "I have $children children.";
print "You owe $amounts[payment] immediately.";
print "My circle's diameter is $circle->diameter inches.";

Interpolation with double-quoted strings places some limitations on the syntax of what can be interpolated. In the previous example, $amounts[‘payment’] had to be written as $amounts[payment] so it would be interpolated properly. Use curly braces around more complicated expressions to interpolate them into a string. For example:

print "I have less than {$children} children.";
print "You owe {$amounts['payment']} immediately.";
print "My circle's diameter is {$circle->getDiameter()} inches.";

Direct interpolation or using string concatenation also works with heredocs. Interpolating with string concatenation in heredocs can look a little strange because the closing heredoc delimiter and the string concatenation operator have to be on separate lines:

print <<< END
Right now, the time is
. strftime('%c') . <<< END
but tomorrow it will be
. strftime('%c',time() + 86400);

Also, if you’re interpolating with heredocs, make sure to include appropriate spacing for the whole string to appear properly. In the previous example, Right now the time has to include a trailing space, and but tomorrow it will be has to include leading and trailing spaces.

See Also
For the syntax to interpolate variable variables (such as ${“amount_$i”}), see Recipe 5.4; documentation on the string concatenation operator at

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