Study Sheet

Study Sheet

Sample Study Sheet: Identification of Strong and Weak Acids and Bases

Tip-off  When you are asked to identify a substance as either (1) an Arrhenius strong acid, (2) an Arrhenius weak acid, (3) an Arrhenius strong base, (4) an Arrhenius weak base, or (5) not acidic or basic in the Arrhenius sense (neutral), you can use the following procedure.

General Steps

Step #1:  Identify the substance as an acid, a base, or neither.

Acid names:

The names of the uncharged acids end in acid. 

The names for the only ionic compounds you are expected to recognize as acidic end in hydrogen sulfate or dihydrogen phosphate.

Acid formulas:

Molecular acids have one of these forms: HX(aq) or HaXbOc.

Acidic ionic compounds have formulas that include HSO4- or H2PO4-.

Base Names and Formulas:

We expect ionic compounds that contain group 1 or 2 metal cations to be basic except those containing:

Cl-, Br-, I-, NO3-, ClO4-   neutral.

HSO4-, H2PO4-    acidic

Ammonia, NH3, is a base.

Step #2:  If you have an acid or base, determine whether it is strong or weak.

We will consider all acids except HCl(aq), HBr(aq), HI(aq), HNO3, HClO4, and H2SO4 to be weak.

We will consider all bases except metal hydroxides to be weak.  

Click here to see an example.

Click here to see an exercise.

Return to the Acid/Base Page.

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