There are two string operators. The first is the concatenation operator ('.'), which returns the concatenation of its right and left arguments. The second is the concatenating assignment operator ('.='), which appends the argument on the right side to the argument on the left side. Please read Assignment Operators for more information.
$a = "Hello "; $b = $a . "World!"; // now $b contains "Hello World!" $a = "Hello "; $a .= "World!"; // now $a contains "Hello World!"