How can I write two functions that would take a string and return if it starts with the specified character/string or ends with it?

For example:

$str = '|apples}';

echo startsWith($str, '|'); //Returns true
echo endsWith($str, '}'); //Returns true

Solution 1

PHP 8.0 and higher

Since PHP 8.0 you can use the

str_starts_with Manual and

str_ends_with Manual

Example

echo str_starts_with($str, '|');

PHP before 8.0

function startsWith( $haystack, $needle ) {
     $length = strlen( $needle );
     return substr( $haystack, 0, $length ) === $needle;
}
function endsWith( $haystack, $needle ) {
    $length = strlen( $needle );
    if( !$length ) {
        return true;
    }
    return substr( $haystack, -$length ) === $needle;
}

Solution 2

You can use substr_compare function to check start-with and ends-with:

function startsWith($haystack, $needle) {
    return substr_compare($haystack, $needle, 0, strlen($needle)) === 0;
}
function endsWith($haystack, $needle) {
    return substr_compare($haystack, $needle, -strlen($needle)) === 0;
}

This should be one of the fastest solutions on PHP 7 (benchmark script). Tested against 8KB haystacks, various length needles and full, partial and no match cases. strncmp is a touch faster for starts-with but it cannot check ends-with.

Solution 3

Updated 23-Aug-2016

Functions

function substr_startswith($haystack, $needle) {
    return substr($haystack, 0, strlen($needle)) === $needle;
}

function preg_match_startswith($haystack, $needle) {
    return preg_match('~' . preg_quote($needle, '~') . '~A', $haystack) > 0;
}

function substr_compare_startswith($haystack, $needle) {
    return substr_compare($haystack, $needle, 0, strlen($needle)) === 0;
}

function strpos_startswith($haystack, $needle) {
    return strpos($haystack, $needle) === 0;
}

function strncmp_startswith($haystack, $needle) {
    return strncmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) === 0;
}

function strncmp_startswith2($haystack, $needle) {
    return $haystack[0] === $needle[0]
        ? strncmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) === 0
        : false;
}

Tests

echo 'generating tests';
for($i = 0; $i < 100000; ++$i) {
    if($i % 2500 === 0) echo '.';
    $test_cases[] = [
        random_bytes(random_int(1, 7000)),
        random_bytes(random_int(1, 3000)),
    ];
}
echo "done!\n";


$functions = ['substr_startswith', 'preg_match_startswith', 'substr_compare_startswith', 'strpos_startswith', 'strncmp_startswith', 'strncmp_startswith2'];
$results = [];

foreach($functions as $func) {
    $start = microtime(true);
    foreach($test_cases as $tc) {
        $func(...$tc);
    }
    $results[$func] = (microtime(true) - $start) * 1000;
}

asort($results);

foreach($results as $func => $time) {
    echo "$func: " . number_format($time, 1) . " ms\n";
}

Results (PHP 7.0.9)

(Sorted fastest to slowest)

strncmp_startswith2: 40.2 ms
strncmp_startswith: 42.9 ms
substr_compare_startswith: 44.5 ms
substr_startswith: 48.4 ms
strpos_startswith: 138.7 ms
preg_match_startswith: 13,152.4 ms

Results (PHP 5.3.29)

(Sorted fastest to slowest)

strncmp_startswith2: 477.9 ms
strpos_startswith: 522.1 ms
strncmp_startswith: 617.1 ms
substr_compare_startswith: 706.7 ms
substr_startswith: 756.8 ms
preg_match_startswith: 10,200.0 ms

startswith_benchmark.php

Solution 4

All answers so far seem to do loads of unnecessary work, strlen calculations, string allocations (substr), etc. The 'strpos' and 'stripos' functions return the index of the first occurrence of $needle in $haystack:

function startsWith($haystack,$needle,$case=true)
{
    if ($case)
        return strpos($haystack, $needle, 0) === 0;

    return stripos($haystack, $needle, 0) === 0;
}

function endsWith($haystack,$needle,$case=true)
{
    $expectedPosition = strlen($haystack) - strlen($needle);

    if ($case)
        return strrpos($haystack, $needle, 0) === $expectedPosition;

    return strripos($haystack, $needle, 0) === $expectedPosition;
}

Solution 5

function startsWith($haystack, $needle, $case = true) {
    if ($case) {
        return (strcmp(substr($haystack, 0, strlen($needle)), $needle) === 0);
    }
    return (strcasecmp(substr($haystack, 0, strlen($needle)), $needle) === 0);
}

function endsWith($haystack, $needle, $case = true) {
    if ($case) {
        return (strcmp(substr($haystack, strlen($haystack) - strlen($needle)), $needle) === 0);
    }
    return (strcasecmp(substr($haystack, strlen($haystack) - strlen($needle)), $needle) === 0);
}

Credit To:

Check if a string ends with another string

Check if a string begins with another string

Solution 6

PHP 8 update

PHP 8 includes new str_starts_with and str_ends_with functions that finally provide a performant and convenient solution to this problem:

$str = "beginningMiddleEnd";
if (str_starts_with($str, "beg")) echo "printed\n";
if (str_starts_with($str, "Beg")) echo "not printed\n";
if (str_ends_with($str, "End")) echo "printed\n";
if (str_ends_with($str, "end")) echo "not printed\n";

The RFC for this feature provides more information, and also a discussion of the merits and problems of obvious (and not-so-obvious) userland implementations.

Solution 7

This question already has many answers, but in some cases you can settle for something simpler than all of them. If the string you're looking for is known (hardcoded), you can use regular expressions without any quoting etc.

Check if a string starts with 'ABC':

preg_match('/^ABC/', $myString); // "^" here means beginning of string

ends with 'ABC':

preg_match('/ABC$/', $myString); // "$" here means end of string

In my simple case, I wanted to check if a string ends with slash:

preg_match('#/$#', $myPath);   // Use "#" as delimiter instead of escaping slash

The advantage: since it's very short and simple, you don't have to define a function (such as endsWith()) as shown above.

But again -- this is not a solution for every case, just this very specific one.

Solution 8

The regex functions above, but with the other tweaks also suggested above:

 function startsWith($needle, $haystack) {
     return preg_match('/^' . preg_quote($needle, '/') . '/', $haystack);
 }

 function endsWith($needle, $haystack) {
     return preg_match('/' . preg_quote($needle, '/') . '$/', $haystack);
 }

Solution 9

Fastest endsWith() solution:

# Checks if a string ends in a string
function endsWith($haystack, $needle) {
    return substr($haystack,-strlen($needle))===$needle;
}

Benchmark:

# This answer
function endsWith($haystack, $needle) {
    return substr($haystack,-strlen($needle))===$needle;
}

# Accepted answer
function endsWith2($haystack, $needle) {
    $length = strlen($needle);

    return $length === 0 ||
    (substr($haystack, -$length) === $needle);
}

# Second most-voted answer
function endsWith3($haystack, $needle) {
    // search forward starting from end minus needle length characters
    if ($needle === '') {
        return true;
    }
    $diff = \strlen($haystack) - \strlen($needle);
    return $diff >= 0 && strpos($haystack, $needle, $diff) !== false;
}

# Regex answer
function endsWith4($haystack, $needle) {
    return preg_match('/' . preg_quote($needle, '/') . '$/', $haystack);
}

function timedebug() {
    $test = 10000000;

    $time1 = microtime(true);
    for ($i=0; $i < $test; $i++) {
        $tmp = endsWith('TestShortcode', 'Shortcode');
    }
    $time2 = microtime(true);
    $result1 = $time2 - $time1;

    for ($i=0; $i < $test; $i++) {
        $tmp = endsWith2('TestShortcode', 'Shortcode');
    }
    $time3 = microtime(true);
    $result2 = $time3 - $time2;

    for ($i=0; $i < $test; $i++) {
        $tmp = endsWith3('TestShortcode', 'Shortcode');
    }
    $time4 = microtime(true);
    $result3 = $time4 - $time3;

    for ($i=0; $i < $test; $i++) {
        $tmp = endsWith4('TestShortcode', 'Shortcode');
    }
    $time5 = microtime(true);
    $result4 = $time5 - $time4;

    echo $test.'x endsWith: '.$result1.' seconds # This answer<br>';
    echo $test.'x endsWith2: '.$result4.' seconds # Accepted answer<br>';
    echo $test.'x endsWith3: '.$result2.' seconds # Second most voted answer<br>';
    echo $test.'x endsWith4: '.$result3.' seconds # Regex answer<br>';
    exit;
}
timedebug();

Benchmark Results:

10000000x endsWith: 1.5760900974274 seconds # This answer
10000000x endsWith2: 3.7102129459381 seconds # Accepted answer
10000000x endsWith3: 1.8731069564819 seconds # Second most voted answer
10000000x endsWith4: 2.1521229743958 seconds # Regex answer

Solution 10

If speed is important for you, try this.(I believe it is the fastest method)

Works only for strings and if $haystack is only 1 character

function startsWithChar($needle, $haystack)
{
   return ($needle === $haystack[0]);
}

function endsWithChar($needle, $haystack)
{
   return ($needle === $haystack[strlen($haystack) - 1]);
}

$str='|apples}';
echo startsWithChar('|',$str); //Returns true
echo endsWithChar('}',$str); //Returns true
echo startsWithChar('=',$str); //Returns false
echo endsWithChar('#',$str); //Returns false

Solution 11

Here are two functions that don't introduce a temporary string, which could be useful when needles are substantially big:

function startsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    return strncmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) === 0;
}

function endsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    return $needle === '' || substr_compare($haystack, $needle, -strlen($needle)) === 0;
}

Solution 12

I realize this has been finished, but you may want to look at strncmp as it allows you to put the length of the string to compare against, so:

function startsWith($haystack, $needle, $case=true) {
    if ($case)
        return strncasecmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) == 0;
    else
        return strncmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) == 0;
}    

Solution 13

Here's a multi-byte safe version of the accepted answer, it works fine for UTF-8 strings:

function startsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    $length = mb_strlen($needle, 'UTF-8');
    return (mb_substr($haystack, 0, $length, 'UTF-8') === $needle);
}

function endsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    $length = mb_strlen($needle, 'UTF-8');
    return $length === 0 ||
        (mb_substr($haystack, -$length, $length, 'UTF-8') === $needle);
}

Solution 14

You can use strpos and strrpos

$bStartsWith = strpos($sHaystack, $sNeedle) == 0;
$bEndsWith = strrpos($sHaystack, $sNeedle) == strlen($sHaystack)-strlen($sNeedle);

Solution 15

Short and easy-to-understand one-liners without regular expressions.

startsWith() is straight forward.

function startsWith($haystack, $needle) {
   return (strpos($haystack, $needle) === 0);
}

endsWith() uses the slightly fancy and slow strrev():

function endsWith($haystack, $needle) {
   return (strpos(strrev($haystack), strrev($needle)) === 0);
}

Solution 16

Focusing on startswith, if you are sure strings are not empty, adding a test on the first char, before the comparison, the strlen, etc., speeds things up a bit:

function startswith5b($haystack, $needle) {
    return ($haystack{0}==$needle{0})?strncmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) === 0:FALSE;
}

It is somehow (20%-30%) faster. Adding another char test, like $haystack{1}===$needle{1} does not seem to speedup things much, may even slow down.

=== seems faster than == Conditional operator (a)?b:c seems faster than if(a) b; else c;


For those asking "why not use strpos?" calling other solutions "unnecessary work"


strpos is fast, but it is not the right tool for this job.

To understand, here is a little simulation as an example:

Search a12345678c inside bcdefga12345678xbbbbb.....bbbbba12345678c

What the computer does "inside"?

    With strccmp, etc...

    is a===b? NO
    return false



    With strpos

    is a===b? NO -- iterating in haysack
    is a===c? NO
    is a===d? NO
    ....
    is a===g? NO
    is a===g? NO
    is a===a? YES
    is 1===1? YES -- iterating in needle
    is 2===3? YES
    is 4===4? YES
    ....
    is 8===8? YES
    is c===x? NO: oh God,
    is a===1? NO -- iterating in haysack again
    is a===2? NO
    is a===3? NO
    is a===4? NO
    ....
    is a===x? NO
    is a===b? NO
    is a===b? NO
    is a===b? NO
    is a===b? NO
    is a===b? NO
    is a===b? NO
    is a===b? NO
    ...
    ... may many times...
    ...
    is a===b? NO
    is a===a? YES -- iterating in needle again
    is 1===1? YES
    is 2===3? YES
    is 4===4? YES
    is 8===8? YES
    is c===c? YES YES YES I have found the same string! yay!
    was it at position 0? NOPE
    What you mean NO? So the string I found is useless? YEs.
    Damn.
    return false

Assuming strlen does not iterate the whole string (but even in that case) this is not convenient at all.

Solution 17

I hope that the below answer may be efficient and also simple:

$content = "The main string to search";
$search = "T";
//For compare the begining string with case insensitive. 
if(stripos($content, $search) === 0) echo 'Yes';
else echo 'No';

//For compare the begining string with case sensitive. 
if(strpos($content, $search) === 0) echo 'Yes';
else echo 'No';

//For compare the ending string with case insensitive. 
if(stripos(strrev($content), strrev($search)) === 0) echo 'Yes';
else echo 'No';

//For compare the ending string with case sensitive. 
if(strpos(strrev($content), strrev($search)) === 0) echo 'Yes';
else echo 'No';

Solution 18

I usually end up going with a library like underscore-php these days.

require_once("vendor/autoload.php"); //use if needed
use Underscore\Types\String; 

$str = "there is a string";
echo( String::startsWith($str, 'the') ); // 1
echo( String::endsWith($str, 'ring')); // 1   

The library is full of other handy functions.

Solution 19

The answer by mpen is incredibly thorough, but, unfortunately, the provided benchmark has a very important and detrimental oversight.

Because every byte in needles and haystacks is completely random, the probability that a needle-haystack pair will differ on the very first byte is 99.609375%, which means that, on average, about 99609 of the 100000 pairs will differ on the very first byte. In other words, the benchmark is heavily biased towards startswith implementations which check the first byte explicitly, as strncmp_startswith2 does.

If the test-generating loop is instead implemented as follows:

echo 'generating tests';
for($i = 0; $i < 100000; ++$i) {
    if($i % 2500 === 0) echo '.';

    $haystack_length = random_int(1, 7000);
    $haystack = random_bytes($haystack_length);

    $needle_length = random_int(1, 3000);
    $overlap_length = min(random_int(0, $needle_length), $haystack_length);
    $needle = ($needle_length > $overlap_length) ?
        substr($haystack, 0, $overlap_length) . random_bytes($needle_length - $overlap_length) :
        substr($haystack, 0, $needle_length);

    $test_cases[] = [$haystack, $needle];
}
echo " done!<br />";

the benchmark results tell a slightly different story:

strncmp_startswith: 223.0 ms
substr_startswith: 228.0 ms
substr_compare_startswith: 238.0 ms
strncmp_startswith2: 253.0 ms
strpos_startswith: 349.0 ms
preg_match_startswith: 20,828.7 ms

Of course, this benchmark may still not be perfectly unbiased, but it tests the efficiency of the algorithms when given partially matching needles as well.

Solution 20

in short:

function startsWith($str, $needle){
   return substr($str, 0, strlen($needle)) === $needle;
}

function endsWith($str, $needle){
   $length = strlen($needle);
   return !$length || substr($str, - $length) === $needle;
}

Solution 21

Do it faster:

function startsWith($haystack,$needle) {
    if($needle==="") return true;
    if($haystack[0]<>$needle[0]) return false; // ------------------------- speed boost!
    return (0===substr_compare($haystack,$needle,0,strlen($needle)));
}

That extra line, comparing the first character of the strings, can make the false case return immediately, therefore making many of your comparisons a lot faster (7x faster when I measured). In the true case you pay virtually no price in performance for that single line so I think it's worth including. (Also, in practice, when you test many strings for a specific starting chunk, most comparisons will fail since in a typical case you're looking for something.)

NOTE: the bug in @Tino's comment below has aleady been fixed

As for strings vs integers

If you want to force string comparison (that is, you expect startsWith("1234",12) to be true), you'll need some typecasting:

function startsWith($haystack,$needle) {
    if($needle==="") return true;
    $haystack = (string)$haystack;
    $needle   = (string)$needle;
    if($haystack[0]<>$needle[0]) return false; // ------------------------- speed boost!
    return (0===substr_compare($haystack,$needle,0,strlen($needle)));
}

I don't think it's necessary but it's an interesting edge case, leading to questions like "does boolean true begin with a t?" - so you decide, but make sure you decide for good.

Solution 22

This may work

function startsWith($haystack, $needle) {
     return substr($haystack, 0, strlen($needle)) == $needle;
}

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/a/4419658

Solution 23

The substr function can return false in many special cases, so here is my version, which deals with these issues:

function startsWith( $haystack, $needle ){
  return $needle === ''.substr( $haystack, 0, strlen( $needle )); // substr's false => empty string
}

function endsWith( $haystack, $needle ){
  $len = strlen( $needle );
  return $needle === ''.substr( $haystack, -$len, $len ); // ! len=0
}

Tests (true means good):

var_dump( startsWith('',''));
var_dump( startsWith('1',''));
var_dump(!startsWith('','1'));
var_dump( startsWith('1','1'));
var_dump( startsWith('1234','12'));
var_dump(!startsWith('1234','34'));
var_dump(!startsWith('12','1234'));
var_dump(!startsWith('34','1234'));
var_dump('---');
var_dump( endsWith('',''));
var_dump( endsWith('1',''));
var_dump(!endsWith('','1'));
var_dump( endsWith('1','1'));
var_dump(!endsWith('1234','12'));
var_dump( endsWith('1234','34'));
var_dump(!endsWith('12','1234'));
var_dump(!endsWith('34','1234'));

Also, the substr_compare function also worth looking. http://www.php.net/manual/en/function.substr-compare.php

Solution 24

Why not the following?

//How to check if a string begins with another string
$haystack = "valuehaystack";
$needle = "value";
if (strpos($haystack, $needle) === 0){
    echo "Found " . $needle . " at the beginning of " . $haystack . "!";
}

Output:

Found value at the beginning of valuehaystack!

Keep in mind, strpos will return false if the needle was not found in the haystack, and will return 0 if, and only if, needle was found at index 0 (AKA the beginning).

And here's endsWith:

$haystack = "valuehaystack";
$needle = "haystack";

//If index of the needle plus the length of the needle is the same length as the entire haystack.
if (strpos($haystack, $needle) + strlen($needle) === strlen($haystack)){
    echo "Found " . $needle . " at the end of " . $haystack . "!";
}

In this scenario there is no need for a function startsWith() as

(strpos($stringToSearch, $doesItStartWithThis) === 0)

will return true or false accurately.

It seems odd it's this simple with all the wild functions running rampant here.

Solution 25

I would do it like this

     function startWith($haystack,$needle){
              if(substr($haystack,0, strlen($needle))===$needle)
              return true;
        }

  function endWith($haystack,$needle){
              if(substr($haystack, -strlen($needle))===$needle)
              return true;
        }

Solution 26

Based on James Black's answer, here is its endsWith version:

function startsWith($haystack, $needle, $case=true) {
    if ($case)
        return strncmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) == 0;
    else
        return strncasecmp($haystack, $needle, strlen($needle)) == 0;
}

function endsWith($haystack, $needle, $case=true) {
     return startsWith(strrev($haystack),strrev($needle),$case);

}

Note: I have swapped the if-else part for James Black's startsWith function, because strncasecmp is actually the case-insensitive version of strncmp.

Solution 27

Many of the previous answers will work just as well. However, this is possibly as short as you can make it and have it do what you desire. You just state that you'd like it to 'return true'. So I've included solutions that returns boolean true/false and the textual true/false.

// boolean true/false
function startsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    return strpos($haystack, $needle) === 0 ? 1 : 0;
}

function endsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    return stripos($haystack, $needle) === 0 ? 1 : 0;
}


// textual true/false
function startsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    return strpos($haystack, $needle) === 0 ? 'true' : 'false';
}

function endsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    return stripos($haystack, $needle) === 0 ? 'true' : 'false';
}

Solution 28

No-copy and no-intern-loop:

function startsWith(string $string, string $start): bool
{
    return strrpos($string, $start, - strlen($string)) !== false;
}

function endsWith(string $string, string $end): bool
{
    return ($offset = strlen($string) - strlen($end)) >= 0 
    && strpos($string, $end, $offset) !== false;
}

Solution 29

Heres an efficient solution for PHP 4. You could get faster results if on PHP 5 by using substr_compare instead of strcasecmp(substr(...)).

function stringBeginsWith($haystack, $beginning, $caseInsensitivity = false)
{
    if ($caseInsensitivity)
        return strncasecmp($haystack, $beginning, strlen($beginning)) === 0;
    else
        return strncmp($haystack, $beginning, strlen($beginning)) === 0;
}

function stringEndsWith($haystack, $ending, $caseInsensitivity = false)
{
    if ($caseInsensitivity)
        return strcasecmp(substr($haystack, strlen($haystack) - strlen($ending)), $haystack) === 0;
    else
        return strpos($haystack, $ending, strlen($haystack) - strlen($ending)) !== false;
}

Solution 30

You also can use regular expressions:

function endsWith($haystack, $needle, $case=true) {
  return preg_match("/.*{$needle}$/" . (($case) ? "" : "i"), $haystack);
}