Modify regex to validate email?

Just add the + in the [-w.] part:

preg_match("/^[-w.+]+@([A-z0-9][-A-z0-9]+.)+[A-z]{2,4}$/", $email);

Note that the filter extension has an email validator that can properly validate email addresses:

if (filter_var($email, FILTER_VALIDATE_EMAIL) === false) {
    // invalid
}

See filter_var[doc] and the FILTER_VALIDATE_EMAIL[doc] filter.

FYI here is the regex used by FILTER_VALIDATE_EMAIL:

/^(?!(?:(?:\x22?\x5C[\x00-\x7E]\x22?)|(?:\x22?[^\x5C\x22]\x22?)){255,})
(?!(?:(?:\x22?\x5C[\x00-\x7E]\x22?)|(?:\x22?[^\x5C\x22]\x22?)){65,}@)(?
:(?:[\x21\x23-\x27\x2A\x2B\x2D\x2F-\x39\x3D\x3F\x5E-\x7E]+)|(?:\x22
(?:[\x01-\x08\x0B\x0C\x0E-\x1F\x21\x23-\x5B\x5D-\x7F]|(?:\x5C[\x00-
\x7F]))*\x22))(?:\.(?:(?:[\x21\x23-\x27\x2A\x2B\x2D\x2F-\x39\x3D\x3
F\x5E-\x7E]+)|(?:\x22(?:[\x01-\x08\x0B\x0C\x0E-\x1F\x21\x23-\x5B\x5
D-\x7F]|(?:\x5C[\x00-\x7F]))*\x22)))*@(?:(?:(?!.*[^.]{64,})(?:(?:(?:xn--)?[
a-z0-9]+(?:-[a-z0-9]+)*\.){1,126}){1,}(?:(?:[a-z][a-z0-9]*)|(?:(?:xn--)[a-z0-9]
+))(?:-[a-z0-9]+)*)|(?:\[(?:(?:IPv6:(?:(?:[a-f0-9]{1,4}(?::[a-f0-9]{1,4}){7})|(
?:(?!(?:.*[a-f0-9][:\]]){7,})(?:[a-f0-9]{1,4}(?::[a-f0-9]{1,4}){0,5})?::(?:[a-f
0-9]{1,4}(?::[a-f0-9]{1,4}){0,5})?)))|(?:(?:IPv6:(?:(?:[a-f0-9]{1,4}(?::[a-f0-9]
{1,4}){5}:)|(?:(?!(?:.*[a-f0-9]:){5,})(?:[a-f0-9]{1,4}(?::[a-f0-9]{1,4}){0,3})?:
:(?:[a-f0-9]{1,4}(?::[a-f0-9]{1,4}){0,3}:)?)))?(?:(?:25[0-5])|(?:2[0-4][0-9])|(?
:1[0-9]{2})|(?:[1-9]?[0-9]))(?:\.(?:(?:25[0-5])|(?:2[0-4][0-9])|(?:1[0-9]{2})|(
?:[1-9]?[0-9]))){3}))\]))$/iD

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