• All acids start with H
  • Covalent bonds bcuz hydrogen bonds with nonmetals
  • Can usually tell that is an acid b/c produces H+ in solution

Naming acids

  • Binary: hydro___ic acid
  • Polyatomic: NO hydro

            ○ -ate = __ic acid

            ○ -ite = __ous acid


  • Ionic bonds because has cation with anion
  • Can usually tell that is a base b/c produces OH- in solution

Naming Bases

  • Name first element and end with hydroxide

Models of acids and bases

  •  At equilibrium:

        ○ There is a competition for H+ between H2O and A-

        ○ The stronger base controls direction → The direction of equilibrium depends on if the acid is weak or strong

              ■ If H2O is a stronger base than A-, (H2O attracts H+ more) → forward reaction favored → most of the acid dissolved will be in the ionized form

             ■ If A- is a much stronger base than H2O → reverse reaction favored → at equilibrium most of the acid will exist as HA

  • Monoprotic acids: one acidic hydrogen
  • Polyprotic acids: more than one acidic hydrogen which can donate to the solution
  • Oxyacids: acidic hydrogen is attached to the oxygen of an ion
  • Organic Acids: acids that contain carbon and usually a carboxyl group, generally very weak

Water as an Acid and a Base

  • Amphoteric: it can behave either as an acid or a base (ex: water, HSO4-)

          ○ The species can both accept a proton to form its conjugate acid, and donate a proton to form a conjugate base

         ○ As an acid: 

         ○ As a base:

  •  Water is amphoteric and autoionizes:
  •  For water only: [H+] = [OH-] = pH = pOH = at all temperatures → the two graphs will be the same & water is always neutral

The pH Scale

  • As pH decreases, [H+] increases exponentially

            ○ pH changes by 1 for every power of 10 change in [H+]

  • Sig Figs & pH: number of sig figs of molarity = number of decimal places in pH


  • Do not use pH as justification for if a solution is acidic or basic; instead say…

           ○ Neutral solution: [H+] = [OH-]

           ○ Acidic solution: [H+] > [OH-]

           ○ Basic solution: [H+] < [OH-]

Relationships (All on RFS)


           ○ P = (-) log of …

  • (on RFS) 

            ○ Remember that solids and liquids are not included; Kw value is temperature dependent

                  ■ Ionization increases with increasing temperature (kW will be greater value)

  • →Subtract 14 from pOH to find pH 
  • → Given any one of these → can find the other three

                ○ Higher H+ = Lower OH- = Lower pH = higher pOH