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Incrementing / Decrementing Operators

++ increment operator

-- decrement operator

Example    Name              Effect
++$a       Pre-increment     Increments $a by one, then returns $a.
$a++       Post-increment    Returns $a, then increments $a by one.
--$a       Pre-decrement     Decrements $a by one, then returns $a.
$a--       Post-decrement    Returns $a, then decrements $a by one.
These can go before or after the variable.
If put before the variable, the increment/decrement operation is done to the variable first then the result is returned. If put after the variable, the variable is first returned, then the increment/decrement operation is done.
For example:

$apples = 10;
for ($i = 0; $i < 10; ++$i) {
    echo 'I have ' . $apples-- . " apples. I just ate one.\n";
In the case above ++$i is used, since it is faster. $i++ would have the same results.
Pre-increment is a little bit faster because it really increments the variable and after that 'returns' the result. Post-increment creates a special variable, copies there the value of the first variable and only after the first variable is used, replaces its value with second's.
However, you must use $apples--, since first, you want to display the current number of apples, and then you want to subtract one from it.
You can also increment letters in PHP:
$i = "a";
while ($i < "c") {
    echo $i++;}
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