How can I access an array/object in PHP?

If you have an array or an object and you want to access its values, you can use different methods depending on the structure and type of the data. In this article, we will discuss how to access values from an array or an object in various scenarios.

Understanding the Array Structure

Before we dive into accessing array values, let's first understand the structure of an array. An array is an ordered collection of elements, where each element has a unique index. In PHP, array indexes start from 0 and increment by 1 for each element.

In the given problem, we have an array that represents user data retrieved from the Facebook SDK 4. It contains various values such as user ID, date of birth, email, name, gender, location, language, and more.

$get_user = array(
    '[email protected]',
    '  app_scoped_user_id/1049213468352864/',
    (object) array(
        'id' => 102173722491792,
        'name' => 'Jakarta, Indonesia'
    'Alan El-nino Malmsteen',


In order to access the values in this array, we can use the index of each element. For example, $get_user[0] will give us the value 10499478683521864.

echo $get_user[0]; // Output: 10499478683521864

Accessing Array Elements

To access the value [email protected] from the given array, we can use the index 2, since it is the third element in the array. Here's how to do it:

$email = $get_user[2];
echo $email; // Output: [email protected]

We can also directly access the array value without assigning it to a variable:

echo $get_user[2]; // Output: [email protected]

Accessing Object Properties within an Array

If the array contains an object like in the given problem, we can access its properties using the arrow operator (->). For example, to access the name property of the object within the array, we can do:

$location = $get_user[7]->name;
echo $location; // Output: Jakarta, Indonesia

Here, $get_user[7] represents the object within the array, and ->name accesses the name property of that object.

Handling Undefined Indexes

In the given problem, when trying to access $get_user[0], the output is undefined 0. This happens when the specified index is not present in the array. To avoid this error, you can use conditional statements to check if the index exists before accessing it.

if (isset($get_user[0])) {
    echo $get_user[0];
} else {
    echo "Index does not exist.";

Iterating through an Array

If you need to access all the values of an array, you can loop through it using a foreach loop. This allows you to perform an action for each element in the array.

foreach ($get_user as $value) {
    echo $value . "<br>";

This will output all the values in the $get_user array.


Accessing values from an array or an object in PHP is relatively simple once you understand the structure and the methods available. You can access array values using their indexes, and object properties using the arrow operator. It's important to handle cases where indexes are undefined to avoid errors. Additionally, you can iterate through an array using a foreach loop to access each element.