>Can somebody help me with this or point me in the right direction.
>an example of what i need
>I have a string that has 4 items in it separated by a space
>$string="item1 item2 item3 item4";
>I also have a database with a lot of other items in it.
>I what to compare the items in the string with the items in the
>database and if any of them match to branch of and do something
>different with the data. if they don't match do something else with the
>data. I hope this makes sense

You haven't described the database in enough detail to be sure, but assuming
you have one row for every item, you could do this:

  $string = "item1 item2 item3 item4";
  $items = explode("', '", $string);
  $query = "select count(*) from whatever where item in ('$items')";
  $itemcount = @mysql_query($query, $connection) or
  $itemcount = @mysql_result($itemcount, 0, 0);
  if ($itemcount){

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