PHPCon Poland 2024

Instruction separation

As in C or Perl, PHP requires instructions to be terminated with a semicolon at the end of each statement. The closing tag of a block of PHP code automatically implies a semicolon; you do not need to have a semicolon terminating the last line of a PHP block. The closing tag for the block will include the immediately trailing newline if one is present.

Example #1 Example showing the closing tag encompassing the trailing newline

<?php echo "Some text"; ?>
No newline
<?= "But newline now" ?>

The above example will output:

Some textNo newline
But newline now

Examples of entering and exiting the PHP parser:

echo 'This is a test';

<?php echo 'This is a test' ?>

<?php echo 'We omitted the last closing tag';


The closing tag of a PHP block at the end of a file is optional, and in some cases omitting it is helpful when using include or require, so unwanted whitespace will not occur at the end of files, and you will still be able to add headers to the response later. It is also handy if you use output buffering, and would not like to see added unwanted whitespace at the end of the parts generated by the included files.

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User Contributed Notes 3 notes

Krishna Srikanth
17 years ago
Do not mis interpret

<?php echo 'Ending tag excluded';


<?php echo 'Ending tag excluded';
p>But html is still visible</p>

The second one would give error. Exclude ?> if you no more html to write after the code.
moonlander12341234 at gmail dot com
2 months ago
A user from stack overflow had a nice explanation for the trailing newline, simply put,

<?= "Hello" ?>

would output,


meaning that implicit newline from the ?> tag is not there, however one can simply add that to the code such as,

<?= "Hello" ?>


the space between acts as a new line after the closing tag
2 years ago
You are also able to write more than one statement in one line, just separating with a semicolon, example:

echo "a"; echo "b"; echo "c";
#The output will be "abc" with no errors
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