What is the difference between print in echo in PHP?


In PHP, both `print` and `echo` are used for outputting data to the screen, but there are some differences between them:

  1. Type:
    • `echo` is a language construct, not really a function, so you can use it without parentheses. It can take multiple arguments.
    • `print` is also a construct but behaves more like a function and always returns 1. It can take only one argument.
  2. Return Value:
    • `echo` does not return any value. It just outputs the arguments.
    • `print` always returns 1, so it can be used in expressions.
  3. Performance: `echo` is marginally faster than `print` because it doesn’t have a return value to check. However, this speed difference is extremely negligible and usually not a factor in choosing one over the other.
  4. Usage in Expressions:
    • Since `echo` does not return a value, it cannot be used in expressions. For example, you cannot use `echo` within a complex expression or inside a function expecting a value.
    • `print`, with its return value of 1, can be used in expressions.
  5. Argument Handling:
    • `echo` can take multiple parameters, separated by commas, to output. For example, `echo $str1, $str2;`.
    • `print` can only take one argument. To output multiple strings, you would need to concatenate them first.

In practical terms, the differences are quite minor, and choosing between `echo` and `print` usually comes down to personal preference or specific needs in certain situations (like needing a return value or handling multiple arguments). In most cases, they are interchangeable.