Understanding the preg_split function in PHP

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The preg_split function will create an array of items. For example, let's say you have a variable named myFruit that contains fruit.

$myFruit="apple banana orange pear";


When you echo $myFruit, the following will be displayed.

apple banana orange pear


myFruit can be split into an array.

$myFruit="apple banana orange pear";	
$item = preg_split('/[\s,]+/', $myFruit);
echo $item;


When you echo $item, just the word "Array" will be displayed. 



This happens because each item in the array is now associated with a numeric identifier. In this example, the mapping between the items in the array is:

  • $item[0] = apple
  • $item[1] = banana
  • $item[2] = orange
  • $item[3] = pear

Echoing each item can be used to print each item in the array.

echo $item[0];
echo $item[1];
echo $item[2];
echo $item[3];
apple banana orange pear


Foreach loop

A foreach loop can be used to loop through the items in the array.

$myFruit="apple banana orange pear";	
$item = preg_split('/[\s,]+/', $myFruit);

foreach ($item as $myItems) {
    echo $myItems;


The output of the foreach loop will be:

apple banana orange pear


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