Web20 University

How to use 'PHP for continue' with Examples

Get Up to 65% Off PHP Hosting and Free Domains!

When writing loops in PHP, there are situations where you might want to skip the current iteration and continue with the next one. The continue statement is a powerful tool that allows you to do just that. In this blog post, we will dive into the usage of the continue statement in PHP, understand its benefits, and see practical examples that demonstrate its use.

What is the continue Statement?

The continue statement is used within looping structures such as for, foreach, while, and do-while loops. When continue is encountered, it immediately stops the execution of the current iteration and proceeds to the next iteration of the loop.

Here’s the basic syntax of continue:

continue;

Using continue in Different Loops

Example 1: Using continue in a for Loop

Let’s start with a simple example using a for loop. Suppose we want to print numbers from 1 to 10 but skip the number 5.

for ($i = 1; $i <= 10; $i++) {
    if ($i == 5) {
        continue; // Skip the number 5
    }
    echo $i . " ";
}

Output:

1 2 3 4 6 7 8 9 10 

In this example, when $i equals 5, the continue statement skips the rest of the loop body and proceeds to the next iteration, effectively omitting the number 5 from the output.

Example 2: Using continue in a while Loop

Now, let’s use continue in a while loop. Suppose we have an array of numbers and we want to print all numbers except those that are negative.

$numbers = [1, -2, 3, -4, 5, -6];
$i = 0;

while ($i < count($numbers)) {
    if ($numbers[$i] < 0) {
        $i++;
        continue; // Skip negative numbers
    }
    echo $numbers[$i] . " ";
    $i++;
}

Output:

1 3 5 

Here, continue skips the negative numbers in the array and proceeds with the next iteration of the loop.

Example 3: Using continue in a foreach Loop

The foreach loop is commonly used for iterating over arrays. Let’s see how continue can be used to skip specific values.

$fruits = ['apple', 'banana', 'cherry', 'date', 'elderberry'];

foreach ($fruits as $fruit) {
    if ($fruit == 'cherry') {
        continue; // Skip 'cherry'
    }
    echo $fruit . " ";
}

Output:

apple banana date elderberry 

In this example, when the loop encounters ‘cherry’, it skips it and continues with the next fruit in the array.

Nested Loops and continue

The continue statement can also be used in nested loops. By default, continue affects the innermost loop it is called in. However, you can specify the level of the loop to continue by providing an optional numeric argument.

Example 4: Using continue in Nested Loops

Let’s consider a scenario where we have nested loops and we want to skip an iteration of the outer loop based on a condition in the inner loop.

for ($i = 1; $i <= 3; $i++) {
    for ($j = 1; $j <= 3; $j++) {
        if ($j == 2) {
            continue 2; // Skip the current iteration of the outer loop
        }
        echo "i = $i, j = $j" . PHP_EOL;
    }
}

Output:

i = 1, j = 1
i = 2, j = 1
i = 3, j = 1

In this example, continue 2 skips the current iteration of the outer loop when $j equals 2.

Conclusion

The continue statement in PHP is a valuable control structure for managing loop iterations efficiently. By skipping specific iterations, you can streamline your code and avoid unnecessary operations. Whether you are working with for, while, foreach, or nested loops, understanding how to use continue effectively will make your code more readable and efficient.

Experiment with continue in your projects to see how it can simplify your loop logic and enhance your coding skills.

Get Up to 65% Off PHP Hosting and Free Domains!