Type declarations

Type declarations can be added to function arguments, return values, and, as of PHP 7.4.0, class properties. They ensure that the value is of the specified type at call time, otherwise a TypeError is thrown.

Every single type that PHP supports, with the exception of resource can be used within a user-land type declaration. This page contains a changelog of availability of the different types and documentation about usage of them in type declarations.

Hinweis:

When a class implements an interface method or reimplements a method which has already been defined by a parent class, it has to be compatible with the aforementioned definition. A method is compatible if it follows the variance rules.

Changelog

Version Beschreibung
8.2.0 Support for DNF types has been added.
8.2.0 Support for the literal type true has been added.
8.2.0 The types null and false can now be used standalone.
8.1.0 Support for intersection types has been added.
8.1.0 Returning by reference from a void function is now deprecated.
8.1.0 Support for the return only type never has been added.
8.0.0 Support for mixed has been added.
8.0.0 Support for the return only type static has been added.
8.0.0 Support for union types has been added.
7.2.0 Support for object has been added.
7.1.0 Support for iterable has been added.
7.1.0 Support for void has been added.
7.1.0 Support for nullable types has been added.

Base Types Usage Notes

Base types have straight forward behaviour with some minor caveats which are described in this section.

Scalar types

Warnung

Name aliases for scalar types (bool, int, float, string) are not supported. Instead, they are treated as class or interface names. For example, using boolean as a type declaration will require the value to be an instanceof the class or interface boolean, rather than of type bool:

<?php
    
function test(boolean $param) {}
    
test(true);
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt mit PHP 8 folgende Ausgabe:

Warning: "boolean" will be interpreted as a class name. Did you mean "bool"? Write "\boolean" to suppress this warning in /in/9YrUX on line 2

Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: test(): Argument #1 ($param) must be of type boolean, bool given, called in - on line 3 and defined in -:2
Stack trace:
#0 -(3): test(true)
#1 {main}
  thrown in - on line 2

void

Hinweis:

Returning by reference from a void function is deprecated as of PHP 8.1.0, because such a function is contradictory. Previously, it already emitted the following E_NOTICE when called: Only variable references should be returned by reference.

<?php
function &test(): void {}
?>

Callable types

This type cannot be used as a class property type declaration.

Hinweis: It is not possible to specify the signature of the function.

Type declarations on pass-by-reference Parameters

If a pass-by-reference parameter has a type declaration, the type of the variable is only checked on function entry, at the beginning of the call, but not when the function returns. This means that a function can change the type of variable reference.

Beispiel #1 Typed pass-by-reference Parameters

<?php
function array_baz(array &$param)
{
    
$param 1;
}
$var = [];
array_baz($var);
var_dump($var);
array_baz($var);
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt eine ähnliche Ausgabe wie:

int(1)

Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: array_baz(): Argument #1 ($param) must be of type array, int given, called in - on line 9 and defined in -:2
Stack trace:
#0 -(9): array_baz(1)
#1 {main}
  thrown in - on line 2

Composite Types Usage Notes

Composite type declarations are subject to a couple of restrictions and will perform a redundancy check at compile time to prevent simple bugs.

Achtung

Prior to PHP 8.2.0, and the introduction of DNF types, it was not possible to combine intersection types with union types.

Union types

Warnung

It is not possible to combine the two literal types false and true together in a union type. Use bool instead.

Achtung

Prior to PHP 8.2.0, as false and null could not be used as standalone types, a union type comprised of only these types was not permitted. This comprises the following types: false, false|null, and ?false.

Nullable type syntactic sugar

A single base type declaration can be marked nullable by prefixing the type with a question mark (?). Thus ?T and T|null are identical.

Hinweis: This syntax is supported as of PHP 7.1.0, and predates generalized union types support.

Hinweis:

It is also possible to achieve nullable arguments by making null the default value. This is not recommended as if the default value is changed in a child class a type compatibility violation will be raised as the null type will need to be added to the type declaration.

Beispiel #2 Old way to make arguments nullable

<?php
class {}

function 
f(C $c null) {
    
var_dump($c);
}

f(new C);
f(null);
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt folgende Ausgabe:

object(C)#1 (0) {
}
NULL

Duplicate and redundant types

To catch simple bugs in composite type declarations, redundant types that can be detected without performing class loading will result in a compile-time error. This includes:

  • Each name-resolved type may only occur once. Types such as int|string|INT or Countable&Traversable&COUNTABLE result in an error.
  • Using mixed results in an error.
  • For union types:
    • If bool is used, false or true cannot be used additionally.
    • If object is used, class types cannot be used additionally.
    • If iterable is used, array and Traversable cannot be used additionally.
  • For intersection types:
    • Using a type which is not a class-type results in an error.
    • Using either self, parent, or static results in an error.
  • For DNF types:
    • If a more generic type is used, the more restrictive one is redundant.
    • Using two identical intersection types.

Hinweis: This does not guarantee that the type is “minimal”, because doing so would require loading all used class types.

For example, if A and B are class aliases, then A|B remains a legal union type, even though it could be reduced to either A or B. Similarly, if class B extends A {}, then A|B is also a legal union type, even though it could be reduced to just A.

<?php
function foo(): int|INT {} // Disallowed
function foo(): bool|false {} // Disallowed
function foo(): int&Traversable {} // Disallowed
function foo(): self&Traversable {} // Disallowed

use as B;
function 
foo(): A|{} // Disallowed ("use" is part of name resolution)
function foo(): A&{} // Disallowed ("use" is part of name resolution)

class_alias('X''Y');
function 
foo(): X|{} // Allowed (redundancy is only known at runtime)
function foo(): X&{} // Allowed (redundancy is only known at runtime)
?>

Beispiele

Beispiel #3 Basic class type declaration

<?php
class {}
class 
extends {}

// This doesn't extend C.
class {}

function 
f(C $c) {
    echo 
get_class($c)."\n";
}

f(new C);
f(new D);
f(new E);
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt mit PHP 8 folgende Ausgabe:

C
D

Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: f(): Argument #1 ($c) must be of type C, E given, called in /in/gLonb on line 14 and defined in /in/gLonb:8
Stack trace:
#0 -(14): f(Object(E))
#1 {main}
  thrown in - on line 8

Beispiel #4 Basic interface type declaration

<?php
interface { public function f(); }
class 
implements { public function f() {} }

// This doesn't implement I.
class {}

function 
f(I $i) {
    echo 
get_class($i)."\n";
}

f(new C);
f(new E);
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt mit PHP 8 folgende Ausgabe:

C

Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: f(): Argument #1 ($i) must be of type I, E given, called in - on line 13 and defined in -:8
Stack trace:
#0 -(13): f(Object(E))
#1 {main}
  thrown in - on line 8

Beispiel #5 Basic return type declaration

<?php
function sum($a$b): float {
    return 
$a $b;
}

// Note that a float will be returned.
var_dump(sum(12));
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt folgende Ausgabe:

float(3)

Beispiel #6 Returning an object

<?php
class {}

function 
getC(): {
    return new 
C;
}

var_dump(getC());
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt folgende Ausgabe:

object(C)#1 (0) {
}

Beispiel #7 Nullable argument type declaration

<?php
class {}

function 
f(?C $c) {
    
var_dump($c);
}

f(new C);
f(null);
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt folgende Ausgabe:

object(C)#1 (0) {
}
NULL

Beispiel #8 Nullable return type declaration

<?php
function get_item(): ?string {
    if (isset(
$_GET['item'])) {
        return 
$_GET['item'];
    } else {
        return 
null;
    }
}
?>

Strict typing

By default, PHP will coerce values of the wrong type into the expected scalar type declaration if possible. For example, a function that is given an int for a parameter that expects a string will get a variable of type string.

It is possible to enable strict mode on a per-file basis. In strict mode, only a value corresponding exactly to the type declaration will be accepted, otherwise a TypeError will be thrown. The only exception to this rule is that an int value will pass a float type declaration.

Warnung

Function calls from within internal functions will not be affected by the strict_types declaration.

To enable strict mode, the declare statement is used with the strict_types declaration:

Hinweis:

Strict typing applies to function calls made from within the file with strict typing enabled, not to the functions declared within that file. If a file without strict typing enabled makes a call to a function that was defined in a file with strict typing, the caller's preference (coercive typing) will be respected, and the value will be coerced.

Hinweis:

Strict typing is only defined for scalar type declarations.

Beispiel #9 Strict typing for arguments values

<?php
declare(strict_types=1);

function 
sum(int $aint $b) {
    return 
$a $b;
}

var_dump(sum(12));
var_dump(sum(1.52.5));
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt mit PHP 8 folgende Ausgabe:

int(3)

Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: sum(): Argument #1 ($a) must be of type int, float given, called in - on line 9 and defined in -:4
Stack trace:
#0 -(9): sum(1.5, 2.5)
#1 {main}
  thrown in - on line 4

Beispiel #10 Coercive typing for argument values

<?php
function sum(int $aint $b) {
    return 
$a $b;
}

var_dump(sum(12));

// These will be coerced to integers: note the output below!
var_dump(sum(1.52.5));
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt folgende Ausgabe:

int(3)
int(3)

Beispiel #11 Strict typing for return values

<?php
declare(strict_types=1);

function 
sum($a$b): int {
    return 
$a $b;
}

var_dump(sum(12));
var_dump(sum(12.5));
?>

Das oben gezeigte Beispiel erzeugt folgende Ausgabe:

int(3)

Fatal error: Uncaught TypeError: sum(): Return value must be of type int, float returned in -:5
Stack trace:
#0 -(9): sum(1, 2.5)
#1 {main}
  thrown in - on line 5
add a note

User Contributed Notes 5 notes

up
14
toinenkayt (ta at ta) [iwonderr] gmail d
1 year ago
While waiting for native support for typed arrays, here are a couple of alternative ways to ensure strong typing of arrays by abusing variadic functions. The performance of these methods is a mystery to the writer and so the responsibility of benchmarking them falls unto the reader.

PHP 5.6 added the splat operator (...) which is used to unpack arrays to be used as function arguments. PHP 7.0 added scalar type hints. Latter versions of PHP have further improved the type system. With these additions and improvements, it is possible to have a decent support for typed arrays.

<?php
declare (strict_types=1);

function
typeArrayNullInt(?int ...$arg): void {
}

function
doSomething(array $ints): void {
    (function (?
int ...$arg) {})(...$ints);
   
// Alternatively,
   
(fn (?int ...$arg) => $arg)(...$ints);
   
// Or to avoid cluttering memory with too many closures
   
typeArrayNullInt(...$ints);

   
/* ... */
}

function
doSomethingElse(?int ...$ints): void {
   
/* ... */
}

$ints = [1,2,3,4,null];
doSomething ($ints);
doSomethingElse (...$ints);
?>

Both methods work with all type declarations. The key idea here is to have the functions throw a runtime error if they encounter a typing violation. The typing method used in doSomethingElse is cleaner of the two but it disallows having any other parameters after the variadic parameter. It also requires the call site to be aware of this typing implementation and unpack the array. The method used in doSomething is messier but it does not require the call site to be aware of the typing method as the unpacking is performed within the function. It is also less ambiguous as the doSomethingElse would also accept n individual parameters where as doSomething only accepts an array. doSomething's method is also easier to strip away if native typed array support is ever added to PHP. Both of these methods only work for input parameters. An array return value type check would need to take place at the call site.

If strict_types is not enabled, it may be desirable to return the coerced scalar values from the type check function (e.g. floats and strings become integers) to ensure proper typing.
up
9
anisgazig at example dot com
1 year ago
same data type and same value but first function declare as a argument type declaration and return int(7)
and second fucntion declare as a return type declaration but return int(8).

function argument_type_declaration(int $a, int $b){
    return $a+$b;
}

var_dump(argument_type_declaration(3.5,4.7));
//output:int(7)

function return_type_declaration($a,$b) :int{
    return $a+$b;
}

var_dump(return_type_declaration(3.5,4.7));

//output:int(8)
up
3
crash
1 year ago
The documentation lacks the information, that it's possible to change the return type of a method defined in an interface when the interface's methods return type is defined as `mixed`.

From the RFC:

"The mixed return type could be narrowed in a subclass as this is covariant and is allowed in LSP." (https://wiki.php.net/rfc/mixed_type_v2)

This means the following code is valid in PHP 8.0:

<?php

interface ITest
{
    public function
apfel(): mixed; // valid as of 8.0
}

class
Test implements ITest
{
    public function
apfel(): array // more explicit
   
{
        return [];
    }
}

var_dump((new Test())->apfel());
?>

You can see the result here: https://3v4l.org/PXDB6
up
-4
Hayley Watson
1 year ago
Not explicit is that function parameters can also have union type declarations; they're not just for property and return value declarations.

<?php

declare(strict_types = 1);

function
foo(int|string $arg)
{
    if(
is_string($arg))
    {
        echo
"It's a string!\n";
    }
    elseif(
is_int($arg))
    {
        echo
"It's an integer!\n";
    }
    else
    {
        echo
"It shouldn't be here!\n";
    }
}

foo(42);
foo('bar');
foo([]);
up
-8
manoj904378 at gmail dot com
1 year ago
PHP Version 7.4
---
true=1;
false=2;

<?php
 
function a(bool $a,bool $b){
    return
$a+$b;
  }
 
 
var_dump(a(false,3.9));
?>
Output
------
int(1)
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