PHP Syntax

PHP, or Hypertext Preprocessor, is a popular server-side scripting language that is widely used for web development.

It is an open-source language, meaning that it is free to use and can be modified by anyone.

PHP is used to create dynamic web pages and can be integrated with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

One of the key features of PHP is its syntax, which is similar to that of other programming languages such as C and Java.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the basics of PHP syntax and provide some examples to help you understand how it works.

PHP Code Block

In PHP, code is executed within a code block, which is enclosed by the PHP start and end tags, <?php and ?>.

Any code within these tags will be executed by the server and the resulting output will be sent to the client’s browser.

For example:

  echo "Hello, World!";

This code will output the string “Hello, World!” on the web page.


In PHP, variables are used to store and manipulate data. Variables are declared using the $ symbol, followed by the variable name.

The variable name must start with a letter or underscore, and can only contain letters, numbers, and underscores.

For example:

  $name = "John Doe";
  $age = 30;
  $is_admin = true;

  echo "My name is " . $name . " and I am " . $age . " years old.";
  if ($is_admin) {
    echo "I am an administrator.";

This code will output: “My name is John Doe and I am 30 years old. I am an administrator.”.

Data Types

PHP supports several data types, including strings, integers, floats, booleans, and arrays. Here are a few examples:


Strings are used to store text and are enclosed in single or double quotes.

For example:

$name = "John Doe";
$greeting = 'Hello, ';


Integers are whole numbers and can be positive or negative.

For example:

$age = 30;
$weight = -150;


Floats are numbers with decimal points.

For example:

$price = 9.99;
$tax_rate = 0.07;


Booleans are used to store true or false values.

For example:

$is_admin = true;
$is_active = false;


Arrays are used to store multiple values in a single variable.

For example:

$names = array("John", "Jane", "Bob");
$numbers = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5];


PHP supports several types of operators, including mathematical, comparison, and logical operators.

Mathematical Operators:

These operators are used to perform mathematical calculations. The basic mathematical operators in PHP are:

  • Addition : +
  • Subtraction : 
  • Multiplication : *
  • Division : /
  • Modulus : %

For example:

$a = 5;
$b = 3;

$c = $a + $b; // 8
$d = $a - $b; // 2
$e = $a * $b; // 15
$f = $a / $b; // 1.67
$g = $a % $b; // 2

Comparison Operators:

These operators are used to compare values. The comparison operators in PHP are:

  • Equal : ==
  • Identical : ===
  • Not equal : !=
  • Not identical : !==
  • Greater than : >
  • Less than : <
  • Greater than or equal : >=
  • Less than or equal : <=

For example:

$a = 5;
$b = "5";

if ($a == $b) {
  echo "a and b are equal.";

if ($a === $b) {
  echo "a and b are identical.";
} else {
  echo "a and b are not identical.";

if ($a > $b) {
  echo "a is greater than b.";

Logical Operators:

These operators are used to combine conditions. The logical operators in PHP are:

  • And : &&
  • Or : ||
  • Not : !

For example:

$a = true;
$b = false;

if ($a && $b) {
  echo "Both conditions are true.";
} else {
  echo "One or both conditions are false.";

if ($a || $b) {
  echo "At least one condition is true.";

if (!$a) {
  echo "a is false.";

It’s important to note that when comparing variables, you should be careful with the type of operator you use.

For example, using the == operator will compare the values of variables regardless of their type, while === operator will compare both the value and the type of variables.

Control Structures

PHP also supports several control structures that allow you to control the flow of your program. These include if-else statements, for loops, while loops, and foreach loops.

If-Else Statements:

These statements are used to make decisions based on certain conditions.

For example:

if ($age < 18) {
  echo "You are not old enough to vote.";
} else {
  echo "You are old enough to vote.";

For Loops:

These loops are used to repeat a block of code a certain number of times.

For example:

for ($i = 0; $i < 10; $i++) {
  echo $i . "<br>";

While Loops:

These loops are used to repeat a block of code as long as a certain condition is true.

For example:

$i = 0;
while ($i < 10) {
  echo $i . "<br>";

Foreach Loops:

These loops are used to iterate through arrays.

For example:

$names = array("John", "Jane", "Bob");
foreach ($names as $name) {
  echo $name . "<br>";


PHP also supports the use of functions, which are blocks of code that can be reused throughout your program.

Functions are declared using the function keyword, followed by the function name and parentheses ().

For example:

function greet($name) {
  echo "Hello, " . $name . "!";

greet("John"); // Outputs "Hello, John!"

Include and Require

In PHP, you can include or require other PHP files in your current PHP file using the include or require statement.

This allows you to separate your code into different files and make it easier to manage.

For example, you can put your database connection code in a separate file, and then include that file in all of your other PHP files that need to connect to the database.

//Include statement
include 'header.php';
//Require statement
require 'config.php';

In conclusion, PHP is a powerful and widely-used scripting language that is perfect for web development. Its syntax is similar to that of other programming languages, making it easy to learn and use.

With its support for variables, data types, operators, control structures, functions, include and require, PHP allows you to create dynamic and interactive web pages with ease.

Related Posts: