PHP preg_match() Function

Hello dear readers! welcome back to another section of our tutorial on PHP. In this tutorial guide, we will be discussing about the PHP preg_match() function.

The PHP preg_match() function searches string for pattern, and returning true if the pattern exists, and false otherwise.

If the optional input parameter pattern_array is provided, then pattern_array is going to contain various sections of subpatterns contained in the search pattern, if applicable.

If in any case this flag is passed as PREG_OFFSET_CAPTURE, for every occuring match, the appendant string offset will also be returned.

Normally, the search starts from the beginning of the subject string. The optional parameter offset can be used to specify the alternative space from which to start the search.

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The following is the syntax for the preg_match() function -

int preg_match (string pattern, string string [, array  pattern_array],  [,  int  $flags [,  int  $offset ]] );  

Return Value

  • Returns true if pattern exists otherwise false.


Following is a simple example -

   $line = "Vi is the greatest word processor ever created!";
   // perform a case-Insensitive search for the word "Vi"
   if (preg_match("/\bVi\b/i", $line, $match)) :
      print "Match found!";


When the above code is executed, it will produce the following result -

Match found!

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Alright guys! This is where we are rounding up for this tutorial post. In our next tutorial guide, we are going to be discussing about the PHP preg_match_all() Function.

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