PHP 4 >= 4.3.0, PHP 5, PHP 7, PHP 8
str_word_count - Return information about words used in a string

str_word_count( string$string, [int$format = 0], [string|null$characters = null] ): array|int

Counts the number of words inside string. If the optional format is not specified, then the return value will be an integer representing the number of words found. In the event the format is specified, the return value will be an array, content of which is dependent on the format. The possible value for the format and the resultant outputs are listed below.

For the purpose of this function, 'word' is defined as a locale dependent string containing alphabetic characters, which also may contain, but not start with "'" and "-" characters. Note that multibyte locales are not supported.



The string


Specify the return value of this function. The current supported values are:

0 - returns the number of words found

1 - returns an array containing all the words found inside the string

2 - returns an associative array, where the key is the numeric position of the word inside the string and the value is the actual word itself


A list of additional characters which will be considered as 'word'

Return Values

Returns an array or an integer, depending on the format chosen.


Version Description
8.0.0 characters is nullable now.

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