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PHP PHP Arrays and Control Structures PHP Conditionals Compare

Peninah Adler
Peninah Adler
3,843 Points

Quiz result said that a variable was assigned, not compared -- trying to understand.

I'm doing a quiz in beginner php. Here's the question --

<?php $a = "Alena"; if ($a = "Treehouse") { echo "Hello Alena, "; } echo "Welcome to Treehouse!"; ?>

I thought the string in the if statement would not be output, but I was incorrect. However, I don't understand the answer:

The value "Treehouse" is ASSIGNED to the variable $a INSTEAD of COMPARING $a to the string 'Treehouse'. Therefore the expression is evaluated as true.

I don't understand why it's assigned and not comparing...

3 Answers

It shouldn't be assigned but that is the code provided and what you have to work with. It's kind of trick question and the reason for the tip.


if ($a = "Treehouse")

($a = "Treehouse") evaluates to true because "Treehouse" is a truthy value.

See this page where you will find:

The value of an assignment expression is the value assigned. That is, the value of "$a = 3" is 3.

9,260 Points

You are missing an extra equal symbol to compare that $a is equal to 'Aleana'.

So the single equal symbol is the assignment operator where you are assigning 'Aleana' to $a. So the comparison operator == can be used to compare the variable against the string within the conditional. You also have the identical operator === which means that the variable that you are comparing must be of the same type and the same value.

Hope this helps :)

Peninah Adler
Peninah Adler
3,843 Points

Thanks! These both helped me understand.