php and preg replace

Hi Experts,

Why does this add two << around the preg replace...

I just want to add strong to first para only

$text = preg_replace('<p>', '<p><strong>', $text, 1);
$text = preg_replace('</p>', '</strong></p>', $text, 1);

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Wrong code, You miss the regexp delimiters. Try:

$text = preg_replace('#<p>#', '<p><strong>', $text, 1);
$text = preg_replace('#</p>#', '</strong></p>', $text, 1);

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Ray PaseurCommented:
Unlike ereg() that has been deprecated and will be removed, the PCRE expressions require a delimiter.  Certain pieces of information for the regex follow the trailing delimiter.  For example, you can make the expression case-insensitive by adding the letter "i" at the end, after the final delimiter.

You may also find that certain "meta characters" need to be escaped by prepending them with a backslash.  PHP is inconsistent in its application of this rule.  Enlightening reading here:
maccaj51Author Commented:
Hi Ray,

Thanks for the information. I would class myself a little above beginner so will have a look...

Is there any reason why i should accept and use hernst42 answer?
Ray PaseurCommented:
Sure!  Just looking at it, I am fairly sure it works.  In some cases the wickets < and > may be treated as meta-characters, but this is not one of them.
maccaj51Author Commented:
Many Thanks hernst42

& Ray!
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