An *expression* is a bit of PHP that can be
evaluated to produce a value. The simplest expressions are literal values
and variables. A literal value evaluates to itself, while a variable
evaluates to the value stored in the variable. More complex expressions
can be formed using simple expressions and operators.

An *operator* takes some values (the
operands) and does something (for instance, adds them together). Operators
are written as punctuation symbols—for instance, the `+`

and `–`

familiar to us from math. Some operators modify their operands, while most
do not.

Table 2-3 summarizes the operators in PHP, many of which were borrowed from C and Perl. The column labeled “P” gives the operator’s precedence; the operators are listed in precedence order, from highest to lowest. The column labeled “A” gives the operator’s associativity, which can be L (left-to-right), R (right-to-left), or N (nonassociative).

Table 2-3. PHP operators

P | A | Operator | Operation |

21 | N |
| Create new object |

20 | L |
| Array subscript |

19 | R |
| Bitwise NOT |

R |
| Increment | |

R |
| Decrement | |

R |
| Cast | |

R |
| Inhibit errors | |

18 | N |
| Type testing |

17 | R |
| Logical NOT |

16 | L |
| Multiplication |

L |
| Division | |

L |
| Modulus | |

15 | L |
| Addition |

L |
| Subtraction | |

L |
| String concatenation | |

14 | L |
| Bitwise shift left |

L |
| Bitwise shift right | |

13 | N |
| Less than, less than or equal |

N |
| Greater than, greater than or equal | |

12 | N |
| Value equality |

N |
| Inequality | |

N |
| Type and value equality | |

N |
| Type and value inequality | |

11 |

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