$query = "SELECT * FROM customers WHERE firstname = '$firstname', lastname = '$lastname'";
    $result = mysql_query($query);

i keep getting Error: Query was empty

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Use AND OR not comma. The logical operators available for MySQL are these: http://dev.mysql.com/doc/refman/5.0/en/logical-operators.html

So your query becomes:

$query = "SELECT * FROM customers WHERE firstname = '$firstname' …
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It works! So i guess it is always better to use the "worded" versions of operations?

Yes, AND is defined by the standard ANSI/SQL.

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