# LaTeX Error: Something's wrong--perhaps a missing \item

This error appears when you have forgotten to include an ** \item** command. It can also appear from trying to use lists inside a table incorrectly.

# Common Causes

**Forgetting to write \item:**

The most basic example of this error is where you have told LaTeX that you are going to be writing a list, but you have not labelled your list entries with ** \item** tags. An example of this is shown below

```
\begin{itemize}
This is the first entry in our list
\end{itemize}
```

Here, you have told LaTeX that you are writing a list by using the ** itemize** environment. The mistake that is made is that you haven't labelled your list entry with

**. This will generate the error shown below:**

`\item`

main.tex, line 6

See the LaTeX manual or LaTeX Companion for explanation. Type H <return> for immediate help. ... l.6 \end{itemize} Try typing <return> to proceed. If that doesn't work, type X <return> to quit.

The correct way to write this list is:

```
\begin{itemize}
\item This is the first entry in our list
\end{itemize}
```

See here to learn more about how to make different types of lists in LaTeX.

**Writing lists inside tables incorrectly:**

This error will also appear if you try to number cells within a table using lists, as shown below.

```
\begin{tabular}{l}
\begin{enumerate}
\item This is item number one\\ \hline
\item This is item number two
\end{enumerate}
\end{tabular}
```

This is a mistake, as lists cannot be used to number table cells in this way. One way to solve the problem above would be to create a counter. This can be done by including

```
\newcounter{rownumbers}
\newcommand\rownumber{\stepcounter{rownumbers}\arabic{rownumbers}}
```

in the preamble to your document (see here). You can then write the above example as

```
\begin{tabular}{l r}
\rownumber & This is item number one\\ \hline
\rownumber & This is item number two
\end{tabular}
```

To learn more about how to create counters, check out our documentation.

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