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# When to use a single = and when to use a ==? To me they seem used interchangeably and can't find any explanation online.

I can't find any explanation on when you use the the single =. I understand the purpose and meaning of == and === but the rules for when to use the single = when defining something is unclear.

I wonder if a good way of explaining it might be:

The single equal symbol (=) assigns a value to a variable. In many cases, that assigned value is human-made, or in other words, arbitrarily described. There is a sense of great freedom here.

The double equal symbol (==) questions the equality of two things. Importantly, and inherently, it asks: "Is it TRUE that these two things joined by the symbol (==) are equal?". It might be best described as a "logical operation". It is mathematical. In a sense there is nothing arbitrary about the use of this symbol. In short, it is what it is :-).

Just some thoughts to clear my head in the early stages of learning PHP!

A single equal sign is used to set a variable equal to something. A double equal sign is used to determine if something is equal to something.

```<?php
\$name = "Jeff";

if ( \$name == "Jeff" ) {
echo "Damn, that guy's cool.";
} elseif ( \$name != "Jeff" ) {
echo "Wait, you're not Jeff!";
} else {
echo "Who are you?!";
}
?>
```