The common tasks that are covered by a for loop are:
1. Set a counter variable to some initial value.
2. Check to see if the conditional statement is true.
3. Execute the code within the loop.
4. Increment a counter at the end of each iteration through the loop.
The for loop allows you to define these steps in one easy line of code. It may seem to have a strange form, so pay close attention to the syntax used!
Let us take the example from the while loop lesson and see how it could be done in a for loop. The basic structure of the for loop is as follows:
Pseudo PHP Code:
for ( initialize a counter; conditional statement; increment a counter)
do this code;
Notice how all the steps of the loop are taken care of in the for loop statement. Each step is separated by a semicolon: initiliaze counter, conditional statement, and the counter increment. A semicolon is needed because these are separate expressions. However, notice that a semicolon is not needed after the "increment counter" expression.