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How do I get the first n words of a string?
How do I get the last n words of a string?

May 29th, 2002 09:43
Philip Olson, Jacob Stetser,

One way is to create an array from all the words of the string by 
splitting the string.  For example, let's split on spaces:
  $str = "hello, today sure is a nice day";
  $words = split('[ ]+', $str);
  print $words[0]; // hello
  print $words[2]; // sure
To use only a portion of this array of words, consider the 
array_slice() function:
  $somewords = array_slice($words, 0, 20);
Now we have an array of the first 20 words.  Let's put it all together 
function get_some_words($str, $count = 20)
  $words = split('[ ]+', $str);
  if (sizeof($words) > $count) {
      $words = array_slice($words, 0, $count);
  return implode($words, ' ');
Note that what you split on is important.  In our example above we 
treat multiple spaces '   ' the same as single spaces ' '.  Let's say 
you want to eliminate all non alpha-numerical characters during the 
split, then use this regex instead:
    $words = split('[^[:alnum:]]+', $str);
In our example function, all multiple spacings will result in single 
spacing after going through get_some_words().  So '  ' => ' '.
See also: http://www.php.net/split