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Unary Operators (Perl and PHP Cross Reference Guide)

By Mike Prestwood

Perl versus PHP: A side by side comparison between Perl and PHP.


A language symbol used for assignment, comparison, computational, or as a logical.

Unary Operators

[Other Languages] 

General Info: Unary Operator

An operation with only one operand (a single input). Common unary operators include + plus, - minus, and bitwise not. Some operators can function as both unary and binary operators. For example, + and - operators can serve as either.

Languages Focus

What unary operators are supported in additoin to the standard plus, minus, and bitwise not.


An operation with only one operand (a single input). The following are the Perl unary operators: !, -, ~, +, \, &, and *.

  • ! performs logical negation which is "not"
  • - performs arithmetic negation if the operand is numeric.
  • ~ performs bitwise negation, that is 1's complement.
  • + has no semantic effect whatsoever, even on strings.
  • \ creates a reference to whatsoever follows.
  • & Address of operator.
  • * Dereference address operator.

A unary operator operates on only one value.

PHP Examples:

  • ! negation operator
  • ++ increment operator
  • -- decrement operator

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