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empty

(PHP 4, PHP 5)

emptyDetermine whether a variable is empty

Description

bool empty ( mixed $var )

Determine whether a variable is considered to be empty. A variable is considered empty if it does not exist or if its value equals FALSE. empty() does not generate a warning if the variable does not exist.

Parameters

var

Variable to be checked

Note:

Prior to PHP 5.5, empty() only supports variables; anything else will result in a parse error. In other words, the following will not work: empty(trim($name)). Instead, use trim($name) == false.

No warning is generated if the variable does not exist. That means empty() is essentially the concise equivalent to !isset($var) || $var == false.

Return Values

Returns FALSE if var exists and has a non-empty, non-zero value. Otherwise returns TRUE.

The following things are considered to be empty:

  • "" (an empty string)
  • 0 (0 as an integer)
  • 0.0 (0 as a float)
  • "0" (0 as a string)
  • NULL
  • FALSE
  • array() (an empty array)
  • $var; (a variable declared, but without a value)

Changelog

Version Description
5.5.0

empty() now supports expressions, rather than only variables.

5.4.0

Checking non-numeric offsets of strings returns TRUE.

5.0.0

Objects with no properties are no longer considered empty.

Examples

Example #1 A simple empty() / isset() comparison.

<?php
$var 
0;

// Evaluates to true because $var is empty
if (empty($var)) {
    echo 
'$var is either 0, empty, or not set at all';
}

// Evaluates as true because $var is set
if (isset($var)) {
    echo 
'$var is set even though it is empty';
}
?>

Example #2 empty() on String Offsets

PHP 5.4 changes how empty() behaves when passed string offsets.

<?php
$expected_array_got_string 
'somestring';
var_dump(empty($expected_array_got_string['some_key']));
var_dump(empty($expected_array_got_string[0]));
var_dump(empty($expected_array_got_string['0']));
var_dump(empty($expected_array_got_string[0.5]));
var_dump(empty($expected_array_got_string['0.5']));
var_dump(empty($expected_array_got_string['0 Mostel']));
?>

Output of the above example in PHP 5.3:

bool(false)
bool(false)
bool(false)
bool(false)
bool(false)
bool(false)

Output of the above example in PHP 5.4:

bool(true)
bool(false)
bool(false)
bool(false)
bool(true)
bool(true)

Notes

Note: Because this is a language construct and not a function, it cannot be called using variable functions.

Note:

When using empty() on inaccessible object properties, the __isset() overloading method will be called, if declared.

See Also

PHP Manual