# How to use special characters like the question mark as a variable in a formula?

If i write $t=a$ in LaTex, I get "t = a". If I write $t=?$ I get "t =?" but I want to get "t = ?". The ? shall have the same distance from the equals sign as any other variable or letter. Is there a way to to treat the "?" the same way as any other letter in a formula?

To make clear how $t=a$ and t=? look like, I have added a screenshot.

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Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format. – Jubobs Apr 20 '14 at 12:47

Use the \mathord command to declare an ordinary mathematical symbol, as in:

t = \mathord{?}

If you're going to be using this repeatedly, I would define something like

\newcommand{\que}{\mathord{?}}

so that you can use it easily (and be true to the semantic ideals of LaTeX, etc. etc.).

\documentclass{article}
\newcommand{\que}{\mathord{?}}
\begin{document}
$t=\que$
\end{document}

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?is a punctuation symbol. Try $t={}?$.

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