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How To Name Acids

September 25, 2019

How To Name Acids 

An acid is a substance that releases H+ ions (hydrogen ions) when it is dissolved in water.

Acids can be divided into 2 categories: binary acids and oxyacids.


Binary Acid - consists of H + nonmetal

Examples of binary acids are HCl, H2S, HBr

Naming a binary acid - HYDRO _____ IC ACID

HCl - hydrochloric acid

H2S - hydrosulfuric acid



Oxoacid - consists of H + Polyatomic ion containing O

Examples of oxoacids are H2SO4, HNO3


Naming an oxoacid:

The name of an oxoacid depends on the ending of the polyatomic ion.

Here is the chart to help you with naming:

Polyatomic Ion name          Acid Name

per_____________ate   =   per_____ic

______ate                       =    _____ic

______ite                        =    ______ous

hypo________ite            =   hypo________ous


Lets take a look at the following examples for naming oxoacids:

H2SO4 - since SO4 ^2- is sulfate, the name of this acids is sulfuric acid

HNO2 - NO2^-1 is nitrite, the name is nitrous acid. 



At Transformation Tutoring we love teaching chemistry. Our amazing chemistry tutor Mayya is an NYU Honors graduate and has been tutoring chemistry for over 9 years.