PHP – Is it possible to add a string to a variable?

I would like to make a small change in a code for a table of contents.

I want to add a sign in front of each heading. The character should be recognized as text.

I’ve tried a few things, but unfortunately I have not found the right variable.

The code comes from a plugin for WordPress

I have already tried the following variables:

$  items $  tic $  find $  replace $  post 

Here is the code that prints the list:

if ( $  tic->is_eligible($  custom_toc_position) ) {                  extract( $  args );                  $  items = $  tic->extract_headings( $  find, $  replace,wptexturize($  post->post_content) );                 $  title = ( array_key_exists('title', $  instance) ) ? apply_filters('widget_title', $  instance['title']) : '';                 if ( strpos($  title, '%PAGE_TITLE%') !== false ) $  title = str_replace( '%PAGE_TITLE%', get_the_title(), $  title );                 if ( strpos($  title, '%PAGE_NAME%') !== false ) $  title = str_replace( '%PAGE_NAME%', get_the_title(), $  title );                 $  hide_inline = $  toc_options['show_toc_in_widget_only'];                  $  css_classes = '';                 // bullets?                 if ( $  toc_options['bullet_spacing'] )                     $  css_classes .= ' have_bullets';                 else                     $  css_classes .= ' no_bullets';                  if ( $  items ) {                     // before widget (defined by themes)                     echo $  before_widget;                      // display the widget title if one was input (before and after titles defined by themes)                     if ( $  title ) echo $  before_title . $  title . $  after_title;                      // display the list                     echo '<ul class="toc_widget_list' . $  css_classes . '">' . $  items . '</ul>';                      // after widget (defined by themes)                     echo $  after_widget;                 } 

I tried it like this:

$  items = '>'.$  items $  tic = '>'.$  tic $  find = '>'.$  find . . . 

Unfortunately, nothing has hit the right place $ items addressed only the entire list The other Variables had no effect or led to errors