How to resolve unexpected T_STRING error in PHP

How to resolve unexpected T_STRING error in PHP

The "unexpected T_STRING" error in PHP typically occurs when there is a syntax error in your code involving a string. The "T_STRING" in the error message refers to a string token in PHP's parser.

To function properly, PHP demands a logical flow of commands.  Here are examples of the most common syntax errors in PHP and how to fix them. 

How to fix missing or mismatched quotes?

A PHP error arises when a ';' sign is not inserted at the end of the command.

$string = 'Hello;

In the example above, the single quotes (apostrophes) are not closed properly. Ensure that you have matching single or double quotes around your strings.

How to fix unclosed strings?

The same principle applies for fixing unclosed strings. Ensure there is an apostrophe at the end of every string. 

$string = 'Hello World';

How to escape special characters?

Sometimes, special characters inside a string may need to be escaped. For instance, if you want to include a literal single quote within a single-quoted string, you should escape it with a backslash. 

$string = 'He\'s happy';

The same idea applies to any other character that performs a function in PHP. 

Which special characters need to be escaped?

Here is a list of common special characters used in PHP. If you want to use these characters without triggering a function or casuing a syntax error, they need to be escaped. 

  • Dollar Sign ($) Used to declare and access variables. For example: $variable = 42;
  • Semicolon (;) Used to terminate statements in PHP. Each PHP statement should end with a semicolon.
  • Single Quote (') and Double Quote (") Used to define string literals. Single quotes are used for simple strings, and double quotes allow for variable interpolation and escape sequences.
  • Backslash () Used as an escape character to represent special characters within strings. For example, \" represents a double quote within a double-quoted string.
  • Ampersand (&) Used in various contexts, including referencing and dereferencing variables, and as a bitwise operator.
  • Dot (.) Used for string concatenation. For example: $name = 'John'.' '.'Doe';
  • Comma (,) Used to separate elements in arrays, function arguments, and for multiple variable declarations.
  • Parentheses ( and ) Used for defining and calling functions and methods, as well as for grouping expressions.
  • Curly Braces ({ and }) Used to define code blocks, enclose associative array elements, and for variable interpolation in double-quoted strings.
  • Square Brackets ([ and ]) Used for defining arrays and accessing array elements.
  • Colon (:) Used in the context of PHP control structures like if, else, foreach, and switch for defining blocks of code.
  • Question Mark (?) Used as a ternary conditional operator for conditional expressions.
  • Arrow (->) Used to access object properties and methods.
  • At Sign (@) Used as an error control operator to suppress error messages.
  • Percent Sign (%) Used as a modulus operator for finding the remainder of a division operation.
  • Asterisk (*) Used as a multiplication operator.

How to fix line breaks and newline errors?

$string = 'This is a

In the above example, an error is caused because single-quoted strings do not support multiline strings directly.

To fix it, use double quotes

$string = "This is a\nmultiline\nstring.";

or concatenation

$string = 'This is a' .
          ' multiline' .
          ' string.';

Note: PHP is a simple program that asks for much attention. You should not have any problem with it if you pay enough attention to the logical flow of the program.

For more help with error codes, check out our forum!
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