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preg_split - Split string by a regular expression

preg_split( string$pattern, string$subject, [int$limit = -1], [int$flags = 0] ): array|false

Split the given string by a regular expression.



The pattern to search for, as a string.


The input string.


If specified, then only substrings up to limit are returned with the rest of the string being placed in the last substring. A limit of -1 or 0 means "no limit".


flags can be any combination of the following flags (combined with the | bitwise operator):


If this flag is set, only non-empty pieces will be returned by preg_split.


If this flag is set, parenthesized expression in the delimiter pattern will be captured and returned as well.


If this flag is set, for every occurring match the appendant string offset will also be returned. Note that this changes the return value in an array where every element is an array consisting of the matched string at offset 0 and its string offset into subject at offset 1.

Return Values

Returns an array containing substrings of subject split along boundaries matched by pattern, or false on failure.

Exceptions and Errors

If the regex pattern passed does not compile to a valid regex, an E_WARNING is emitted.


If you don't need the power of regular expressions, you can choose faster (albeit simpler) alternatives like explode or str_split.

If matching fails, an array with a single element containing the input string will be returned.

Related Functions

Example of preg_split

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Function preg_split:

Regular Expressions (Perl-Compatible) Functions

Most used PHP functions