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What makes an acid unique and how are acids named?
A variety of acids are used in foods, industry, and research. Acids are covalently bonded molecules, but when they are put into water they produce ions. One of the ions produced is always H+, which immediately combines with a water molecule to form the hydronium ion (H.O-). The H.0+ ion is what defines the acidic properties of a substance. Because of their special classification, acids have a naming system different from ionic or other molecular (covalent) compounds.
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Naming Acids Practice
Use this set to practice naming acids and bases. Share this page if you like it 🙂
Term and Answers to learn
Naming Acids Video Practice
In order to explain acid naming, the sequence of HCl, HClO, HClO2, HClO3, and HClO4 will be discussed in order.
HCl is a binary acid. All binary acids are named the same way:
- the prefix “hydro” is used.
- the root of the anion is used.
- the suffix “ic” is used.
- the word “acid” is used as the second word in the name.
The name for HCl is hydrochloric acid. Other binary acids you are responsible for are HF, HBr, HI, and H2S.
In the ChemTeam’s estimation there are two keys. You have to:
- recognize when a polyatomic is present and
- know its name.
Only then can you know to change the “ite” suffix to “ous” and the “ate” suffix to “ic” when it is an acid.
More complex acids have oxygen in the compound. There is a simple set of rules for these acids.
- Any polyatomic ion with the suffix “-ate” uses the suffix “-ic” as an acid. So, HNO3 will be nitric acid.
- When you have a polyatomic ion with one more oxygen than the “-ate” ion, then your acid will have the prefix “per-” and the suffix “-ic.” For example, the chlorate ion is ClO3–. Therefore, HClO4 is called perchloric acid.
- With one fewer oxygen than the “-ate” ion, the acid will have the suffix “-ous.” For example, chlorous acid is HClO2.
- With two fewer oxygen than the “-ate” ion, the prefix will be “hypo-” and the suffix will be “-ous.” For example, instead of bromic acid, HBrO3, we have hypobromous acid, HBrO.