Array Functions

PHP list() Function

Topic: PHP Array ReferencePrev|Next


The list() function assign variables as if they were an array.

Like array(), this is not really a function, but a language construct. This function is mainly used to assign a list of variables in one operation. It doesn't work with strings.

The following table summarizes the technical details of this function.

Return Value: Returns the assigned array.
Changelog: Since PHP 7.1.0, it is now possible to specify keys in the list(). Previously, it only worked on numerical arrays and assumes the numerical indices start at 0.
Version: PHP 4+


The basic syntax of the list() function is given with:

list(variable1, variable2, ...);

The following example shows the list() function in action.

// Sample array
$phone = array("Apple", "iPhone", "128GB");

// Listing all the variables
list($brand, $model, $rom) = $phone;
echo "This is an $brand $model with $rom internal storage.";


The list() function accepts the following parameters.

Parameter Description
variable1 Required. Specify a variable to assign a value to.
variable2, ... Optional. Specify more variables to assign values to.

More Examples

Here're some more examples showing how list() function actually works:

The following example demonstrates how to skip the listing of some of the variables. However, since PHP 7.0.0, the list() expressions can no longer be completely empty.

// Sample array
$phone = array("Apple", "iPhone", "128GB");

// Listing some of them
list($brand, , $rom) = $phone;
echo "This is an $brand device with $rom internal storage.";

// Listing the third one
list(, , $rom) = $phone;
echo "This is a mobile device with $rom internal storage.";
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