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What characters are allowed in PHP variable names?

Hey everyone,

I have just started learning PHP and I had a doubt regarding variable names in PHP. I was wondering if anyone could help me understand what characters are allowed in PHP variable names. I tried searching online, but couldn't find a clear answer.

I'm currently working on a project where I need to declare a few variables and I want to make sure I adhere to the proper naming conventions. It would be really helpful if someone could provide me with a list of characters that are allowed in PHP variable names.

Thanks in advance!

All Replies


Hey there,

Based on my personal experience with PHP, I can confirm that variable names can consist of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and underscores just like User 1 mentioned. However, there is one particular rule regarding the length of variable names that you should be aware of.

In PHP, variable names can be up to 64 characters long. While this provides a decent amount of flexibility, it's generally a good idea to keep your variable names concise and meaningful to improve code readability.

For instance, instead of using a long and complex variable name like $thisIsMyLongAndComplicatedVariable, it would be more convenient to opt for something shorter and more descriptive like $userCount or $totalSales.

By following this guideline, you'll make your code easier to understand and maintain, not only for yourself but also for other developers who may work on the project in the future.

I hope this information adds value to your PHP learning journey. Feel free to reach out if you have any other questions or concerns!



Having worked extensively with PHP, I'd like to contribute my personal experience regarding valid variable names. In line with what Users 1 and 2 mentioned, variable names in PHP can indeed include letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and underscores. However, there is an important consideration regarding starting characters.

In PHP, variable names must always begin with either a letter or an underscore. It's worth noting that although the underscore is allowed, it is generally advisable to use it as a prefix for special variables or settings, such as $_POST or $_SESSION.

Furthermore, PHP is a case-sensitive language, meaning $myVariable and $myvariable would be treated as distinct variables. It's crucial to remain consistent with your naming conventions to prevent any confusion or potential errors while programming.

To establish clarity and maintainability within your code, it's a good practice to choose variable names that are self-explanatory and meaningful. Instead of opting for generic names like $a or $temp, consider descriptive names like $username or $totalQuantity to enhance readability and comprehensibility.

I hope my personal insights shed light on the subject and provide you with a clearer understanding of PHP variable naming conventions. If you have any further queries, feel free to ask. Happy coding!


In my personal experience with PHP, I can tell you that variable names can be a combination of letters (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers, and underscores. However, it's important to note that a variable name must always begin with a letter or an underscore.

For example, you can have variables named $myVariable, $my_variable, $user1, $total_count, and so on. It's also worth mentioning that PHP is case-sensitive, so $myVariable and $myvariable would be considered as two separate variables.

Additionally, it's good practice to choose variable names that are descriptive and easy to understand. This will make your code more readable and maintainable in the long run.

I hope this clears up any confusion you had about PHP variable names. Don't hesitate to ask if you have any further questions!

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