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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.”

-Seneca

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"

Examples:

"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"

Examples:

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.

Examples:

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