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“Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it was poured.”


Naming Acids and Bases

We'll do a whole unit toward the end of the year just on Acids and Bases, so for now we're just going to look at how to name them and write/recognize their chemical formulas. Why? So you recognize them in the lab!

Naming Acids

There are two basic types of acids: 1) Binary acids (made up of two elements, one of which is hydrogen) and Oxo acids (which form when hydrogen bonds with a polyatomic ion).

Binary or "Hydro" acids

  1. Start with the word "hydro" (for our friend hydrogen)
  2. Change the second element's name so it ends with "-ic"
  3. End with the word "acid"


"Oxo" acids

DO NOT start with "hydro!" ("Hydro" is reserved for binary acids)

  1. Start with the full name of the polyatomic ion (nitrate, sulfate) and CHANGE the ending as follows:
    • If the polyatomic anion ends with "-ate" change it to "-ic" (Think I ate something ic-ky)
    • If the polyatomic anion ends with "-ite" change it to "-ous" (Think I took a b-ite of something delici-ous)
  2. End with the word "acid"


Practice worksheet with supplimental notes and an answer key.

Naming Bases

Most common bases are formed when a metal (especially Groups 1A and 2A) bonds with a hydroxide. naming bases once you've identified them is easy!

  1. Name the metal CATION first; it keeps its name as listed in the Periodic Table.
  2. The polyatomic ion "hydroxide" (-OH) also keeps its name.


How much do you need to know about naming acids and bases?