PHP how to get the variable type

Posted on Nov 07, 2022

See how you can find the type of variables you have in your PHP codebase


To get the type of variables you have in your code, you can use the PHP gettype() or var_dump() function.

The PHP gettype() function returns a string that shows the type of the variable you passed as its argument:

$myVar = "Hello";

print gettype($myVar); // string

print gettype(999); // integer

$arr = [1, 2, "A"];
print gettype($arr); // array

The var_dump() function returns a structured information from an expression.

This var_dump() can be used to get the type and value that your variable holds.

Unlike gettype() which returns a string value, var_dump() directly produces an output to the browser. You don’t need to add print or echo before calling the function:

$myVar = "Hello";

var_dump($myVar);

var_dump(999);

$arr = [1, 2, "A"];
var_dump($arr);

The code above will produce the following output:

string(5) "Hello"
int(999)
array(3) {
  [0]=>
  int(1)
  [1]=>
  int(2)
  [2]=>
  string(1) "A"
}

When you pass a string value, the var_dump() function also returns the length of the string as you see in the example above.

When you need the variable type returned as a string, you should use the gettype() function.

If you are debugging an issue during development, you may want to use the var_dump() function as it gives you more information about a specific variable.

Now you’ve learned how to get the variable type in PHP. Nice work!

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