SunshinePHP Developer Conference 2015

Operator Precedence

The precedence of an operator specifies how "tightly" it binds two expressions together. For example, in the expression 1 + 5 * 3, the answer is 16 and not 18 because the multiplication ("*") operator has a higher precedence than the addition ("+") operator. Parentheses may be used to force precedence, if necessary. For instance: (1 + 5) * 3 evaluates to 18.

When operators have equal precedence, their associativity decides whether they are evaluated starting from the right, or starting from the left - see the examples below.

The following table lists the operators in order of precedence, with the highest-precedence ones at the top. Operators on the same line have equal precedence, in which case associativity decides the order of evaluation.

Operator Precedence
Associativity Operators Additional Information
non-associative clone new clone and new
left [ array()
right ++ -- ~ (int) (float) (string) (array) (object) (bool) @ types and increment/decrement
non-associative instanceof types
right ! logical
left * / % arithmetic
left + - . arithmetic i string
left << >> bitwise
non-associative < <= > >= comparison
non-associative == != === !== <> comparison
left & bitwise i references
left ^ bitwise
left | bitwise
left && logical
left || logical
left ? : ternary
right = += -= *= /= .= %= &= |= ^= <<= >>= => assignment
left and logical
left xor logical
left or logical
left , many uses

For operators of equal precedence, left associativity means that evaluation proceeds from left to right, and right associativity means the opposite.

Przykład #1 Associativity

<?php
$a 
5// (3 * 3) % 5 = 4
$a true true 2// (true ? 0 : true) ? 1 : 2 = 2

$a 1;
$b 2;
$a $b += 3// $a = ($b += 3) -> $a = 5, $b = 5

// mixing ++ and + produces undefined behavior
$a 1;
echo ++
$a $a++; // may print 4 or 5
?>
Use of parentheses, even when not strictly necessary, can often increase readability of the code.

Informacja:

Although = has a lower precedence than most other operators, PHP will still allow expressions similar to the following: if (!$a = foo()), in which case the return value of foo() is put into $a.

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User Contributed Notes 4 notes

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14
headden at karelia dot ru
5 years ago
Although example above already shows it, I'd like to explicitly state that ?: associativity DIFFERS from that of C++. I.e. convenient switch/case-like expressions of the form

$i==1 ? "one" :
$i==2 ? "two" :
$i==3 ? "three" :
"error";

will not work in PHP as expected
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9
Carsten Milkau
2 years ago
Beware the unusual order of bit-wise operators and comparison operators, this has often lead to bugs in my experience. For instance:

<?php if ( $flags & MASK  == 1) do_something(); ?>

will not do what you might expect from other languages. Use

<?php if (($flags & MASK) == 1) do_something(); ?>

in PHP instead.
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5
Antistone
7 months ago
BEWARE:  Addition, subtraction, and string concatenation have equal precedence!
<?
$x = 4;
echo "x minus one equals " . $x-1 . ", or so I hope";
?>
will print "-1, or so I hope"

(Concatenate the first string literal and the value of $x, then implicitly convert that to a number (zero) so you can subtract 1 from it, then concatenate the final string literal.)
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-1
leipie at gmail dot com
1 year ago
The precedence of the arrow operator (->) on objects seems to the highest of all, even higher then clone.

But you can't wrap (clone $foo)->bar() like this!
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