The PHP "return" Keyword: A Comprehensive Guide

In PHP, the "return" keyword is used to return a value from a function, and exit the function. In this article, we'll explore the syntax and usage of the "return" keyword in depth, and provide plenty of examples to help you master this important PHP feature.


The "return" keyword is used in PHP to return a value from a function, and exit the function. Here is the basic syntax for using the "return" keyword:

function myFunction() {
  // Code block here
  return $value;

In this example, we use the "return" keyword to return the value of the variable "$value" from the function "myFunction()".


Let's look at some practical examples of how the "return" keyword can be used:


// Example 1
function addNumbers($a, $b)
  return $a + $b;

$result = addNumbers(2, 3);
echo $result . PHP_EOL;

// Example 2
function isPositive($num)
  if ($num > 0) {
    return true;
  } else {
    return false;

if (isPositive(5)) {
  echo "The number is positive";
} else {
  echo "The number is negative";

In these examples, we use the "return" keyword to return values from functions, and use those values in other parts of our code. This can be useful for performing complex calculations or logic, and returning the results to be used elsewhere in our code.


Using the "return" keyword has several benefits, including:

  • Code organization: By using the "return" keyword to exit a function and return a value, you can improve the organization and readability of your code.
  • Reusability: By using functions that return values, you can reuse code across multiple files and projects, saving time and effort.


In conclusion, the "return" keyword is an important tool for PHP developers who are looking to return values from functions and exit the function. It allows you to perform complex calculations or logic, and return the results to be used elsewhere in your code. We hope this comprehensive guide has been helpful, and we wish you the best of luck as you continue to develop your PHP skills.

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