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Check if string contains a particular character in PHP

Given a string. Learn, how to check whether a specific character presents in it or not using PHP? By Abhishek Pathak Last updated : December 19, 2023


To understand this example, you should have the basic knowledge of the following PHP topics:

PHP - Checking String Contains a Character?

The server side language PHP is quite popular in web industry because of its ability to create dynamic webpages and ease of learning curve for new developers. Working with strings in PHP is quite common because in web we mostly deal with web content and it is important to understand how to perform string operations.

In this article, we will check if any string contains a particular character or not. We will print to the webpage if it contains the character in the string otherwise not. Here's a PHP script to implement this functionality. We will be using strpos() function, which expects two parameter, mpageTU is string to check for any other is the character against which string has to find the character.

PHP code to check whether a string contains a specific character

// We will get the email from form and 
// store in email variable
$email = $_POST["email"];

// Inside if, we check using strpos function
if (strpos($email, "@") !== false) {
    print "There was @ in the e-mail address!";
} else {
    print "There was NO @ in the e-mail address!";


The return value from strpos() is the first position in the string at which the character was found. If the character wasn’t found at all in the string, strpos() returns false. If its first occurrence is found, it returns true.

In the if condition, we simply print to the page that the character was present if it is present and strpos returns true, otherwise, we print the character is not present.

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