Why can't a PHP trait implement interfaces?

I'm wondering why PHP Trait (PHP 5.4) cannot implement interfaces.

Update from user1460043's answer => ...cannot require class which uses it to implement a specific interface

I understand that it could be obvious, because people could think that if a Class A is using a Trait T which is implementing an interface I, than the Class A should be implementing the interface I undirectly (and this is not true because Class A could rename trait methods).

In my case, my trait is calling methods from the interface that the class using the trait implements.

The trait is in fact an implementation of some methods of the interface. So, i want to "design" in the code that every class that want to use my trait have to implement the interface. That would allow the Trait to use class methods defined by the interface and be sure they are existing in the class.


  • The really short version is simpler because you can't. That's not how Traits work.

    When you write use SomeTrait; in PHP you are (effectively) telling the compiler to copy and paste the code from the Trait into the class where it's being used.

    Because the use SomeTrait; is inside the class, it can't add implements SomeInterface to the class, because that has to be outside the class.

    "why aren't Traits types in PHP? "

    Because they can't be instantiated. Traits are really just a language construct (telling the compiler to copy and paste the trait code into this class) as opposed to an object or type that can be referenced by your code.

    So, i want to "design" in the code that every class that want to use my trait have to implement the interface.

    That can be enforced using an abstract class to use the trait and then extending classes from it.

    interface SomeInterface{
        public function someInterfaceFunction();
    trait SomeTrait {
        function sayHello(){
            echo "Hello my secret is ".static::$secret;
    abstract class AbstractClass implements SomeInterface{
        use SomeTrait;
    class TestClass extends AbstractClass {
        static public  $secret = 12345;
        //function someInterfaceFunction(){
            //Trying to instantiate this class without this function uncommented will throw an error
            //Fatal error: Class TestClass contains 1 abstract method and must therefore be 
            //declared abstract or implement the remaining methods (SomeInterface::doSomething)
    $test = new TestClass();

    However - if you do need to enforce that any class that uses a Trait has a particular method, I think you may be using traits where you should have been abstract classes in the first place.

    Or that you have your logic the wrong way round. You're meant to require classes that implement interfaces have certain functions, not that if they have certain functions that they must declare themselves as implementing an interface.


    Actually you can define abstract functions inside Traits to force a class to implement the method. e.g.

    trait LoggerTrait {
        public function debug($message, array $context = array()) {
            $this->log('debug', $message, $context);
        abstract public function log($level, $message, array $context = array());

    However this still doesn't allow you to implement the interface in the trait, and still smells like a bad design, as interfaces are much better than traits at defining a contract that a class needs to fulfill.