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PHP : Language Reference : Operators : Arithmetic Operators

# Arithmetic Operators

Remember basic arithmetic from school? These work just like those.

### Table 6.2. Arithmetic Operators

Example Name Result
-\$a Negation Opposite of \$a.
\$a + \$b Addition Sum of \$a and \$b.
\$a - \$b Subtraction Difference of \$a and \$b.
\$a * \$b Multiplication Product of \$a and \$b.
\$a / \$b Division Quotient of \$a and \$b.
\$a % \$b Modulus Remainder of \$a divided by \$b.

The division operator ("/") returns a float value unless the two operands are integers (or strings that get converted to integers) and the numbers are evenly divisible, in which case an integer value will be returned.

Operands of modulus are converted to integers (by stripping the decimal part) before processing.

Note:

Remainder `\$a % \$b` is negative for negative `\$a`.

## Code Examples / Notes » language.operators.arithmetic

andr3a

[ops ... wrong example :D]
just a note about module, it works only with integers.
<?php
\$a = pow(2, 31);
\$b = (\$a / 2) - 1;
echo implode('<br />', array(
\$a + \$b, // OK => 3221225472
\$a - \$b, // OK => 1073741825
\$a * \$b, // OK => 2.3058430070662E+018
\$a / \$b, // OK => 2.0000000018626
\$a % \$b  // WTF ? => -2
));
?>
maybe bc_mod with a string cast should be a solution
bc_mod((string)pow(2,31), (pow(2,31)/2)-1)

arjini

When dealing purely with HTML, especially tables, or other things in "grids"  the modulous operator is really useful for splitting up the data with a seperator.
This snippet reads any gif files from the directory the script is in, prints them out and puts in a break every 5th image.
<?php
\$d = dir('./');
\$i = 0;
if(strpos(\$e,'.gif')){
++\$i;
echo '<img src="'.\$e.'"/>'.chr(10);
if(!(\$i%5))
echo '<br/>';
}
}
?>
For tables just put </tr><tr> in place of the break.

thookerov a@t gmail dot com

To the comment from nicholas_rainard: Your function is much more efficient, but should probably be combined with the first two lines from the function prior to yours:
function int_divide(\$x, \$y) {
if (\$x == 0) return 0;
if (\$y == 0) return FALSE;
return (\$x - (\$x % \$y)) / \$y;
}
Permits for zero in either argument. Also, this always returns the floor of the division. Probably seems obvious to most, but it didn't to me at first. Maybe a rounding function would look like:
function up_or_dn(\$x, \$y) {
if (\$x == 0) return 0;
if (\$y == 0) return FALSE;
return (\$x % \$y >= \$y / 2) ?
((\$x - (\$x % \$y)) / \$y) + 1 : (\$x - (\$x % \$y)) / \$y;
}
Adds 1 if the mod result is more than half \$y (which if my math is right means the float result is .5+, so round up).
Simplest example: \$x = 3, \$y = 2.

To factor a number:
<?php
function factornumber(\$number)
{
for (\$i=1; \$i<=(\$number/2); \$i++)
{
if (\$number % \$i == 0)
{
echo "\$i * ".(\$number/\$i)." = \$number\n";
}
}
}
factornumber(50);
?>
That script outputs:
1 * 50 = 50
2 * 25 = 50
5 * 10 = 50
10 * 5 = 50
25 * 2 = 50
As you may notice, it makes no attempts at removing duplicates (eg: 5*10 and 10*5), although it would be trivial to make it do so.

rz

This is a really simple observation.
There is no integer division operator. But if you need to divide by a power of 2, you can use the right-shift operator instead. 257/32 gives 8.03125, but 257>>5 gives 8.

todd

There isn't much detail in the PHP Manual regarding the PHP modulus operator (%).  It seems as though the PHP modulus operator (%) works on integer operands. If PHP operates like Perl, then the modulus operator (%) converts its operands to integers before finding the remainder according to integer division.  Testing seems to prove the theory:
<?php
\$dividend = 7;
\$divisor = 2.4;
print \$dividend%\$divisor; // prints 1
print fmod(\$dividend, \$divisor); // prints 2.2
?>

csaba

The function below is not a replacement for http://php.net/fmod  Rather, it is the classic (mathematician's) modulo where the resultant value is always non-negative, in the range [0,\$base).  For example, mod(-9,7) => 5.  When both arguments are integers, you get the classic notion of the % operator.
function mod(\$num, \$base) {
return (\$num - \$base*floor(\$num/\$base)); }
Csaba Gabor

mdirks

Quote from TChan's post:
"...But if you're dealing with ints anyway, (a-a%b)/b has no function calls and returns an int, while floor() always returns a float."
It *explicitly* says in the documentation that the division operator *always* returns a float value *regardless* of the types of the operands. While you may get the "integer part" of the number that way you will technically not get an integer. PHP may not be too strongly typed for the most part, but it's important to make the distinction.
"... if the 'fractional part' of \$a/\$b is close to 1, then it can round up, and floor(\$a/\$b) will be larger than it should be."
Actually I think you meant *smaller*, not larger... the reason floor(\$a/\$b) isn't absolutely equatable with the integer division of \$a and \$b is explained mainly at http://us3.php.net/float . By the look of things, any number with a loss of precision will be truncated instead of rounded. This would at least make sense in the big picture since truncation is more consistant than rounding.

t chan

Please note that floor(\$a/\$b) is not the same as integer division. if the 'fractional part' of \$a/\$b is close to 1, then it can round up, and floor(\$a/\$b) will be larger than it should be. The example is a bit contrived though (and printf doesn't print enough digits).
<?php printf("%f\n",\$a = 9007199254740991); // 9007199254740991.000000
printf("%f\n", \$b = \$a * 3.0); //27021597764222970.000000, the actual value stored ends in 2 while the true value ends in 3
printf("%f\n", \$b/\$a - 3.0); //0.000000
printf("%f\n", \$b - 2*\$a - \$a); //-1.000000
printf("%f\n",fmod(\$b,\$a)); //9007199254740990.000000 fmod agrees too
?>
Admittedly it's a bit 'specially-crafted', but it just goes to show. I believe it does work for integers that can be exactly represented in FP. But if you're dealing with ints anyway, (a-a%b)/b has no function calls and returns an int, while floor() always returns a float.

info

Note that operator % (modulus) works just with integers (between -214748348 and 2147483647) while fmod() works with short and large numbers.
Modulus with non integer numbers will give unpredictable results.

shmee35

Note that constructs which evaluate to 0 (such as empty strings, false, or an explicit NULL) will be treated as 0 in a arithmetic operation. Therefore:
<?php
echo 5*"", '
';
echo 5+false, '
';
echo 5/NULL, '
';
?>
Will produce:
0
5
Warning: Division by zero

areshankar

Most of the mail services/bulletin boards display the time when the message was posted or the mail was received in the  form  - 3 days ago, 15 mins ago etc.
Here is  a nifty little PHP function which does the same by basically  combining the usage of "/" and "%" operators.
You need to pass the unix timestamp of the time when the message was posted to the function.
function intervalCalc(\$postedtime)
{
\$now = time();
\$interval_secs = \$now  - \$postedtime;

if (\$interval_secs > 86400)
{
\$interval = ((\$interval_secs - (\$interval_secs%86400))/86400);

\$interval.= " days ago";
}
elseif (\$interval_secs > 3600)
{
\$interval = (\$interval_secs - (\$interval_secs%3600)/3600);

\$interval.= " hours ago";
}
elseif (\$interval_secs > 60)
{
\$interval = (\$interval_secs - (\$interval_secs%60)/60);

\$interval.= " minutes ago";
}

return  \$interval;

}

gilthans

Me and a few friends were talking about how math works in coding languages, and after a while of discussion, we started wondering how does the sqrt() function works, and how does the division work, using only addition, substraction and multiplication (because that could be easily done using only addition).
I have best knowledge in PHP, so I had my shot at division, and a while of testing proved that my code works. I'm posting this here for the curious, even though the normal PHP division works 7 times faster, so I think there is some way of making my code more efficient.
divide(\$x, \$y, \$a, 0) is similar to number_format(\$x/\$y, \$a);, and divide(\$x, \$y, \$a, 1) is similar to Array(floor(\$x/\$y), \$x%\$y).
<?php
function divide(\$x, \$y, \$a=6, \$z=false){
// returns \$x/\$y
\$t = '';
if(\$y == 0)
return 0;
if((\$x < 0 ^ \$y < 0) && \$x != 0)
\$t = '-';
\$x = abs(\$x);
\$y = abs(\$y);
\$in = 0;
while((\$in+1)*\$y <= \$x)
\$in++;
\$r = \$x-(\$in*\$y);
if(\$z)
return Array(\$in, \$r);
\$d = '';
\$c = 0;
while(\$r != 0 && \$c < \$a){
list(\$u, \$r) = divide(\$r*10, \$y, \$a, 1);
\$c++;
if(\$c >= \$a){
\$b = divide(\$r*10, \$y, \$a, 1);
\$u += (\$b[0] > 4) ? 1 : 0;
}
\$d .= \$u;
}
return intval(\$t.\$in.((\$d != '') ? ".".\$d : ""));
}
?>

Jonathon Reinhart's neat little function to find out if a value is odd or even doesn't work for floats (this might possibly arithmetically correct but causes the following problem) eg
<?php
12.23 % 2 = 0 not 1
?>
So if you need to find out if the fraction part of a float is odd or even try:
<?php
if ((\$a /2) != (floor(\$a /2))){
echo "\$a is odd." ;
}
if ((\$a /2) == (floor(\$a /2))){
echo "\$a is even." ;
}
?>

pww8

It appears floating-point infinity (INF) is not returned from divide by zero (in PHP 5.0.0).  Instead a warning is given and Boolean FALSE is returned.
I searched the various manuals and did not find relevant explanation, so am adding this.

mdirks

If the documentation doesn't match the behavior of the language, then this is a bug which needs to be reported and and dealt with by "them" by either fixing the language to behave as the documentation states, or change the documentation to reflect the exceptions and in which version(s) they exist.
Given that we're probably both right for at least some version of PHP ... which doesn't help with people sharing PHP code all over the place :-)

no

If you need "div" function like in pascal ( 123 div 10 == 12) you can try this:
\$number "div" 10 = (\$number-(\$number % 10)) / 10;

jphansen

If the second operand of modulus is of a precision type, modulus will return a boolean instead of a numeric type.

sputnik13

I just had to make a comment about gilthans' use of the bitwise xor operator (^)...  I'm guessing from the line if((\$x < 0 ^ \$y < 0) && \$x != 0) that he wants to verify that only x or only y is less than 0 AND x != 0...  Bitwise operators should not be used for truth values like this, that's what xor is for.

nicolas_rainardnospam

Here is another very simple and extremely fast integer division function, but it works only if the arguments are integers and nothing else. So use it only if you are sure of what you are doing.
function int_int_divide(\$x, \$y) {
return (\$x - (\$x % \$y)) / \$y;
}
This one is much, much faster than the preceding ones.

nicolas_rainard_nospam

gilthansREMOVEME at gmail dot com proposed a nice integer division function, but its speed greatly depends on the size difference between the two provided numbers. If the first number is very big and the second one is very small, this function will take a (relative) long time to resolve (because of the loop).
Here is another integer division function, wich always takes the same time to resolve, what ever the provided numbers are. In most cases, it will be faster, but if the numbers are close, the other one will be twice as fast. It's up to you to choose one of these functions, depending on the expected input numbers...
function int_divide(\$x, \$y) {
if (\$x == 0) return 0;
if (\$y == 0) return FALSE;
\$result = \$x/\$y;
\$pos = strpos(\$result, '.');
if (!\$pos) {
return \$result;
} else {
return (int) substr(\$result, 0, \$pos);
}
}

php

For the mathematicians among us:
The mod operator % works a bit differently than in mathematics (e.g. in group theory), in that negative remainders aren't represented by their positive equivalence classes, as is common in mathematics.
An example:
-1%7 returns -1, instead of 6.
it depends a bit on how you interpret 'remainder of a division', i.e. if you want the remainder to be always positive.

gemini6ice

For integer division, just use floor(\$a / \$b).

lucas

following from jonathon's and sean's notes, imho booleans are simpler for alternating rows
<ul>
<?php
\$alt=true;
for(\$i=0;\$i<count(\$items);\$i++)
{
echo '<li'.(\$alt?' class="alternate"':'').'>'.\$items[\$i].'</li>';
\$alt=!\$alt;
}
?>
</ul>

soren

Exponentiation doesn't use ^ or ** as you might be used to with other languages.  To calculate "z equals y to the x" use:
\$z = pow(y,x)

bxm

An implementation of the classical modulus operator (as in mathematics or Java). An alternative to the one given below, which was more elegant. This implementation maybe more efficient?
// Computes...
// Mathematics: \$a (mod \$b)
// Java: \$a % \$b
function modulus( \$a, \$b )
{
if( \$a < 0 )
{
return \$b - ( abs( \$a ) % \$b );
}
else
{
return \$a % \$b;
}
}

sean

An easier way of doing alternating row colors is just setting the first row color outside of your loop, calling your loop, and then calling the class or hex code into a single spot, rather than re-creating the entire div both times.
Something like this:
<?php
\$class = "odd";
for (\$i = 1; \$i <= 10; \$i++) {
echo "<div class=\"".\$class."\">".\$i."</div>";
if (\$class == "odd") { \$class = "even"; } else { \$class = "odd"; }
}
?>

darnell

Also, when automatically converting floats to integers, PHP truncates them rather than rounding.  So in the previous note, 2.4 gets truncated to 2 before the modulus operator is applied.

jonathon reinhart

A very simple yet maybe not obvious use of the modulus (%) operator is to check if an integer is odd or even.
<?php
if ((\$a % 2) == 1)
{ echo "\$a is odd." ;}
if ((\$a % 2) == 0)
{ echo "\$a is even." ;}
?>
This is nice when you want to make alternating-color rows on a table, or divs.
<?php
for (\$i = 1; \$i <= 10; \$i++) {
if((\$i % 2) == 1)  //odd
{echo "<div class=\"dark\">\$i</div>";}
else   //even
{echo "<div class=\"light\">\$i</div>";}
}
?>

glenn

a real simple method to reset an integer to a the next lowest multiple of a divisor
\$startSeq = \$startSeq - (\$startSeq % \$entriesPerPage);
if \$startSeq was already a multiple, then " \$startSeq % \$entriesPerPage " will return 0 and \$startSeq will not change.

justin

The above statment: "The division operator ("/") returns a float value anytime, even if the two operands are integers (or strings that get converted to integers)." is NOT TRUE.
Take the following:
<?php
\$a=5;
\$b=10;
\$c=\$b/\$a;
\$d=10/5;
var_dump(\$c);
var_dump(\$d);
var_dump(\$b/\$a);
var_dump(10/5);
?>
All 4 instances will print "int(2)"
Therefore, the division operator "/" returns an integer value if the numbers are evenly divisible AND they are both integers (or strings that have been converted to integer values).

gilthansremoveme

1) About integer division: here's a function that neatly solves this. It is somewhat slower than normal division, but is failsafe.
<?php
function integer_divide(\$x, \$y){
//Returns the integer division of \$x/\$y.
\$t = 1;
if(\$y == 0 || \$x == 0)
return 0;
if(\$x < 0 XOR \$y < 0) //Mistaken the XOR in the last instance...
\$t = -1;
\$x = abs(\$x);
\$y = abs(\$y);
\$ret = 0;
while((\$ret+1)*\$y <= \$x)
\$ret++;
return \$t*\$ret;
}
?>
2) adam.pippin noted about number factoration, however the function returns alot of sequences in text form. This one returns an Array with all the factored numbers of a number. For example, factor(50) would return Array(2, 5, 5).
<?php
function factor(\$n){
\$ret = Array();
\$i = 2;
\$m = \$n/2;
while(\$i <= \$m){
if(!(\$n%\$i))
\$ret = array_merge(\$ret, factor(\$i), factor(\$n/\$i));
if(\$i%2)
\$i+=2; //\$i is impair
else
\$i++;
//Ideally, you'd only run through prime numbers, but there is no way to tell what is the next prime number; we can be sure, however, that the pair ones aren't prime.
\$m = \$n/\$i; //If \$n isn't divisible by \$i, it be assumed it isn't divisible by any number bigger than \$n/\$i, and if it is divisible by \$i, \$n/\$i is already put in. The derivation for this isn't too complex. This drastically reduces the number of numbers we have to go through during the factoration.
}
if(empty(\$ret))
return Array(\$n);
return \$ret;
}
?>
This has only been tested for integers, factoration for floats should include some way to identify the divisor.
Hope this saves someone some headaches.

ulf wostner

# There are several natural ways to define the mod operator for integers.
# Requirement:  If mod(k, m) = r, then k and r differ by a multiple of m.
# For m=7, think days-of-the-week.  Both mod(13, 7) = 6 and mod(13, 7) = -1
# satisfy the requirement. Six days from today, or one day ago, are the same DOW.
# There are several natural ways to define the mod operator for integers.
# Requirement:  If mod(k, m) = r, then k and r differ by a multiple of m.
# For m=7, think days-of-the-week.  Both mod(13, 7) = 6 and mod(13, 7) = -1
# satisfy the requirement. Six days from today, or one day ago, are the same DOW.
# Here are four mod operators:
# 1. mod_php.
# Same as the built-in PHP function, so mod_php(\$k,\$m) == (\$k % \$m).
# A negative value might jolt a programmer using it for array index.
function mod_php(\$k, \$m) {return \$k % \$m; }
# 2. Standard math definition.
# Nice. But, if for some reason m is negative, be prepared for negative values.
function mod_math(\$k, \$m) { return (\$k - \$m * floor(\$k/\$m)); }
# 3. Smallest absolute value.
# Sometimes convenient for large integers, making good use of the sign-bit.
# Also, for mere humans, "-2 months from May", might be easier than "10 months from May".
function mod_min(\$k, \$m) {
\$r = mod_pos(\$k, \$m);
if(\$r > abs(\$m)/2) \$r -= abs(\$m);
return \$r;
}
# 4. Smallest non-negative value.
# Maybe closest to the concept that mod is the remainder when dividing \$k by \$m.
function mod_pos(\$k, \$m) { return (\$k - abs(\$m) * floor(\$k/abs(\$m))); }
# This table compares the four functions.
k    m   mod_php mod_math  mod_min   mod_pos
18    7       4       4      -3          4
17    7       3       3       3          3
16    7       2       2       2          2
-16    7     -2       5      -2          5
-17    7     -3       4      -3          4
-18    7     -4       3       3          3
18    -7     4      -3      -3           4
17    -7     3      -4       3           3
16    -7     2      -5       2           2
-16    -7     -2      -2      -2         5
-17    -7     -3      -3      -3         4
-18    -7     -4      -4       3         3

t chan

"It *explicitly* says in the documentation that the division operator *always* returns a float value *regardless* of the types of the operands."
Documentation is not always right. See http://uk.php.net/manual/en/language.operators.arithmetic.php#49371
"Actually I think you meant *smaller*, not larger... the reason floor(\$a/\$b) isn't absolutely equatable with the integer division of \$a and \$b is explained mainly at http://us3.php.net/float . By the look of things, any number with a loss of precision will be truncated instead of rounded. This would at least make sense in the big picture since truncation is more consistant than rounding."
No. The people who wrote IEEE 754 made the default rounding mode round-to-nearest, because it tends to give a more accurate result. To illustrate, if the true value of a/b is (say) 3.9999999999999999999, this will be rounded up to 4. Then, floor(4) = 4, whereas the true value is 3.
That said, it depends on (at least) the particular version of PHP you're running. PHP doesn't guarantee anything - it can use whatever approximate floating point implementation it likes.

### Change Language

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