startsWith() and endsWith() functions in PHP

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
phpstring

Answers

answered 9 years ago KdgDev #1

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

answered 9 years ago MrHus #2

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

function endsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    $length = strlen($needle);

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

Use this if you don't want to use a regex.

answered 9 years ago Sander Rijken #3

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;
}

answered 9 years ago tridian #4

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);
 }

answered 9 years ago James Black #5

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;
}    

answered 9 years ago bobo #6

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.

answered 8 years ago lepe #7

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[0] === $haystack);
}

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

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

answered 7 years ago Freeman #8

You also can use regular expressions:

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

answered 7 years ago Patrick Smith #9

Here’s 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;
}

answered 7 years ago Dan #10

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);
}

answered 7 years ago mpen #11

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

answered 6 years ago biziclop #12

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

answered 6 years ago Vincent Pazeller #13

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;
}

answered 6 years ago Salman A #14

It is possible to use strrpos and strpos to check start-with and ends-with respectively.

Note that using strrpos to check starts with and strpos to check ends with will return as soon as possible instead of checking the whole string till the end. Also, this solution does not create a temporary string. Consider explaining the reason before downvoting. Just because a f-wit at the DWTF doesn't understand how this function works or thinks there is only one solution doesn't mean this answer is wrong.

function startsWith($haystack, $needle) {
    // search backwards starting from haystack length characters from the end
    return $needle === "" || strrpos($haystack, $needle, -strlen($haystack)) !== false;
}

function endsWith($haystack, $needle) {
    // search forward starting from end minus needle length characters
    return $needle === "" || (($temp = strlen($haystack) - strlen($needle)) >= 0 && strpos($haystack, $needle, $temp) !== false);
}

Tests and results (compare with this):

startsWith("abcdef", "ab") -> true
startsWith("abcdef", "cd") -> false
startsWith("abcdef", "ef") -> false
startsWith("abcdef", "") -> true
startsWith("", "abcdef") -> false

endsWith("abcdef", "ab") -> false
endsWith("abcdef", "cd") -> false
endsWith("abcdef", "ef") -> true
endsWith("abcdef", "") -> true
endsWith("", "abcdef") -> false

Note: the strncmp and substr_compare functions will outperform this function.

answered 6 years ago Kade Hafen #15

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.

answered 5 years ago user507410 #16

This may work

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

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

answered 5 years ago FrancescoMM #17

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.

answered 5 years ago Ja͢ck #18

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;
}

answered 5 years ago Srinivasan.S #19

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';

answered 4 years ago wynshaft #20

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';
}

answered 4 years ago Jelle Keizer #21

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;
        }

answered 3 years ago yuvilio #22

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.

answered 3 years ago Division by Zero #23

You can use strpos and strrpos

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

answered 3 years ago ymakux #24

$ends_with = strrchr($text, '.'); // Ends with dot
$start_with = (0 === strpos($text, '.')); // Starts with dot

answered 2 years ago noamtm #25

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);   // slash has to be quoted

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.

answered 2 years ago dkellner #26

Just a recommendation:

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

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.)

answered 2 years ago Veeno #27

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.

answered 2 years ago Spoo #28

Not sure why this is so difficult for people. Substr does a great job and is efficient as you don't need to search the whole string if it doesn't match.

Additionally, since I'm not checking integer values but comparing strings I don't have to necessarily have to worry about the strict === case. However, === is a good habit to get into.

function startsWith($haystack,$needle) {
  substring($haystack,0,strlen($needle)) == $needle) { return true; }
   return false;
}

function endsWith($haystack,$needle) {
  if(substring($haystack,-strlen($needle)) == $needle) { return true; }
   return false;
}

or even better optimized.

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

function endsWith($haystack,$needle) {
  return substring($haystack,-strlen($needle)) == $needle);
}

answered 6 months ago VSG24 #29

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

function startsWith($haystack, $needle)
{
    $length = mb_substr($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);
}

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