Fueling Your Coding Mojo

Buckle up, fellow PHP enthusiast! We're loading up the rocket fuel for your coding adventures...

Popular Searches:

php function array_key_exists and regular expressions

Hey everyone,

I have a question regarding the `array_key_exists` function in PHP and its usage with regular expressions. I'm currently working on a project where I need to check if a specific key exists in an array but the key's name is dynamic and can have a pattern associated with it.

For example, let's say I have an array that looks like this:

$myArray = [
'element123' => 'Value 1',
'element456' => 'Value 2',
'element789' => 'Value 3'

I want to use a regular expression to check if a key exists in the array that follows a specific pattern, like "element\d+". So, if I use `array_key_exists('element\d+', $myArray)`, I want it to return true if `element123`, `element456`, or any other key that matches the pattern is present in the array.

I've tried using the `array_key_exists` function directly with a regular expression pattern, but it doesn't seem to work. Do I need to use a different function or approach to achieve this?

Any help or guidance on this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

All Replies


Hey there,

I've encountered a similar situation before where I needed to use regular expressions with `array_key_exists`. Unfortunately, the `array_key_exists` function itself doesn't support regular expressions for matching keys. It only checks if a given key string exists in the array.

To solve this problem, I used a combination of `array_filter` and `preg_grep` functions to achieve the desired functionality. Let me explain how:

First, I used `array_filter` to create a new array that only contains the keys from my original array that match the given regular expression pattern. Here's an example:

$pattern = '/^element\d+$/'; // Regular expression pattern
$matchedKeys = array_filter(array_keys($myArray), function($key) use ($pattern) {
return preg_match($pattern, $key);

In the above code, `array_keys($myArray)` retrieves all the keys from `$myArray`. The anonymous function passed to `array_filter` then checks if each key matches the regular expression pattern. If a match is found, the key is added to the `$matchedKeys` array.

Finally, to check if any keys matched the pattern and exist in the array, you can use `empty($matchedKeys)`:

if (!empty($matchedKeys)) {
// The array contains keys that match the pattern
// Your code here
} else {
// No matches found

I hope this approach helps you solve your problem. Let me know if you have any further questions!



Hey everyone,

I stumbled upon this thread and thought I'd share a different approach that might be useful in this scenario.

Instead of using `array_key_exists` or a combination of `array_filter` and `preg_grep`, you can leverage the power of `preg_grep` directly to achieve what you're looking for. It's a handy function when dealing with array keys that match a specific pattern using regular expressions.

Here's an example of how you can use `preg_grep` to check if any keys in your array match a particular pattern:

$pattern = '/^element\d+$/'; // Regular expression pattern
$matchedKeys = preg_grep($pattern, array_keys($myArray));

if (!empty($matchedKeys)) {
// A match was found
// Handle the logic here
} else {
// No matches found

In this approach, `preg_grep` directly filters the array keys based on the given regular expression pattern. It returns an array of keys that match the pattern. You can then check if the resulting array is empty to determine if any matches were found.

I found this method to be efficient and concise in cases like yours where regular expressions are involved. Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!

Happy coding!

New to LearnPHP.org Community?

Join the community