Instruction separation

As in C or Perl, PHP requires instructions to be terminated with a semicolon at the end of each statement. The closing tag of a block of PHP code automatically implies a semicolon; you do not need to have a semicolon terminating the last line of a PHP block. The closing tag for the block will include the immediately trailing newline if one is present.

echo 'This is a test';

<?php echo 'This is a test' ?>

<?php echo 'We omitted the last closing tag';


The closing tag of a PHP block at the end of a file is optional, and in some cases omitting it is helpful when using include or require, so unwanted whitespace will not occur at the end of files, and you will still be able to add headers to the response later. It is also handy if you use output buffering, and would not like to see added unwanted whitespace at the end of the parts generated by the included files.

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User Contributed Notes 3 notes

Krishna Srikanth
10 years ago
Do not mis interpret

<?php echo 'Ending tag excluded';


<?php echo 'Ending tag excluded';
p>But html is still visible</p>

The second one would give error. Exclude ?> if you no more html to write after the code.
5 years ago
If you want to keep the newline after a closing tag in the output, just add a space after the closing tag, and the newline will not be ignored.
2 years ago
One thing to remember is, if you decide to omit the closing PHP tag, then the last line of the file should be ended with semi colon. If you add the closing tag then last line doesn't need to end with semi colon.

echo "First line";
"Last line"

The above code throws error as it neither has closing tag nor semicolon ending. So it should be replaced with either of the below two

echo "First line";
"Last line";


echo "First line";
"Last line" ?>
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