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This is the easiest type. A boolean expresses a truth value. It can be either TRUE or FALSE.

Note: The boolean type was introduced in PHP 4.


To specify a boolean literal, use either the keyword TRUE or FALSE. Both are case-insensitive.

= True; // assign the value TRUE to $foo

Usually you use some kind of operator which returns a boolean value, and then pass it on to a control structure.

// == is an operator which test
// equality and returns a boolean
if ($action == "show_version") {
"The version is 1.23";

// this is not necessary...
if ($show_separators == TRUE) {

// ...because you can simply type
if ($show_separators) {

Converting to boolean

To explicitly convert a value to boolean, use either the (bool) or the (boolean) cast. However, in most cases you do not need to use the cast, since a value will be automatically converted if an operator, function or control structure requires a boolean argument.

See also Type Juggling.

When converting to boolean, the following values are considered FALSE:

  • the boolean FALSE itself

  • the integer 0 (zero)

  • the float 0.0 (zero)

  • the empty string, and the string "0"

  • an array with zero elements

  • an object with zero member variables (PHP 4 only)

  • the special type NULL (including unset variables)

Every other value is considered TRUE (including any resource).

-1 is considered TRUE, like any other non-zero (whether negative or positive) number!

((bool) "");        // bool(false)
var_dump((bool) 1);         // bool(true)
var_dump((bool) -2);        // bool(true)
var_dump((bool) "foo");     // bool(true)
var_dump((bool) 2.3e5);     // bool(true)
var_dump((bool) array(12)); // bool(true)
var_dump((bool) array());   // bool(false)
var_dump((bool) "false");   // bool(true)
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