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Been trying to this line to parse for a good 20mins, but all attempts have failed:

\beta = $-$0.84, t = $-$2.09, P = 0.04

Could anyone tell me why I'm getting a Missing $ inserted error here?

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These are three formulas: $\beta=-0.84$, $t=-2.09$, $P=0.04$ – egreg Mar 9 '14 at 15:11
Variables like \beta can only be used in math mode, so the format egreg suggests is really the best way to present this. – cslstr Mar 9 '14 at 15:24
To answer the specific question (in case it's not obvious). \beta is defined to be a maths-mode-only symbol, so when TeX finds it outside a maths environment it tries to start maths for you (and gives an error). You might like to read some basic material about maths in LaTex. – Thruston Mar 9 '14 at 16:00
up vote 8 down vote accepted

egreg is right, of course. The statement should be

$\beta = -0.84$, $t = -0.209$, $P = 0.04$

\beta is a math character and will need some math environment to be displayed. That could be inline math mode, using $...$ or some equation environment. You would also like the spacing to be correct between the numbers and the mathematical symbols, thus wrapping all of it in math mode.

The American Mathematical Society, amsmath, package is a sweet piece of information and a very useful tool.

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Another great reference is Herbert Voss' comprehensive review of mathematics in (La)TeX – Peter Grill Mar 9 '14 at 17:14

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