Chemistry Helper 

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Naming and Writing Acids

    Acids are compounds that contain hydrogen, and they are dissolved in water -- aqueous (aq).


Binary Acids consists of 2 elements and the first is always hydrogen. The second element will always be a non-metal and the suffix will always be "-ic".


  • HF = Hydrofluoric Acid
  • HCl = Hydrochloric Acid
  • HBr = Hydrobromic Acid
  • H2S = Hydrosulfic Acid


    Oxygen containing acids contain 2 ions. The first element will always be hydrogen. The second element will always be a polyatomic ion that contains oxygen. The name is formed by dropping th world "hydrogen" as well as the suffix from the second element. The suffix is replaced with a new one plus the word acid. A polyatomic ion on that ends with "-ite" will become "-ous", and a polyatomic ion that ends with "-ate" becomes "-ic".


  • H3BO3 = Boric Acid --> We have hydrogen and a polyatomic ion. We drop the "Hydro-" suffix, and change "-ate" to "-ic", because Boric is actually the polyatomic ion "Borate".
  • HNO3 = Nitric Acid
  • Carbonic Acid = H2CO3