string substitutions using PHP

My immediate problem is that I want to change  a string in PHP. I want to change "somepattern" to "somepattern and some other stuff too".

I need the sed-type capability of putting "somepattern" back into the string. (sed uses the ( ) plus \1 \2 construct for this.)

Does PHP have this capability? I'm trying to use ereg_replace().
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rfr1tzAsked:
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snoyes_jwCommented:
Yes, it can be done with ereg_replace or preg_replace.  Here is an example from http://www.php.net/ereg_replace :

>>>
For example, the following code snippet prints "This was a test" three times:
Example 1. ereg_replace() example
<?php
$string = "This is a test";
echo ereg_replace (" is", " was", $string);
echo ereg_replace ("( )is", "\\1was", $string);
echo ereg_replace ("(( )is)", "\\2was", $string);
?>  
<<<

See http://www.php.net/preg_replace for examples on using preg_replace.
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rfr1tzAuthor Commented:
Geez, that ( ) syntax is awful.

In fact, what do those ( ) mean in "( )is" )?  defines "first" thing for use with \1, but
                                                                 this isn't obvious at all and then the
"(( ) is)"                                                    means the "second" thing for use with \2

I'm sorry. I see no pattern here at all. In sed, the parens are around the word like (is).
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snoyes_jwCommented:
you could also do something like str_replace($needle, $needle . $otherstuff, $haystack);
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