Node:Context Considerations, Previous:Slices, Up:Associative Arrays (Hashes)

Context Considerations

We have now discussed all the different ways you can use variables in list and scalar context. At this point, it might be helpful to review all the ways we have used variables in different contexts. The table that follows identifies many of the ways variables are used in Perl.

Expression Context Variable Evaluates to
$scalar scalar $scalar, a scalar the value held in $scalar
@array list @array, an array the list of values (in order) held in @array
@array scalar @array, an array the total number of elements in @array (same as $#array + 1)
$array[$x] scalar @array, an array the ($x+1)th element of @array
$#array scalar @array, an array the subscript of the last element in @array (same as @array -1)
@array[$x, $y] list @array, an array a slice, listing two elements from @array (same as ($array[$x], $array[$y]))
"$scalar" scalar (interpolated) $scalar, a scalar a string containing the contents of $scalar
"@array" scalar (interpolated) @array, an array a string containing the elements of @array, separated by spaces
%hash list %hash, a hash a list of alternating keys and values from %hash
$hash{$x} scalar %hash, a hash the element from %hash with the key of $x
@hash{$x, $y} list %hash, a hash a slice, listing two elements from %hash (same as ($hash{$x}, $hash{$y})