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Help about -ate

  1. Jun 8, 2005 #1
    What does this -ate suffix with compounds mean? Can anybody tell about other suffixes like -ous -ic etc as well.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 8, 2005 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  4. Jun 8, 2005 #3
    well, it depends, but in organic & biochemistry it means that you have a stable ion of a carboxylic acid at a particular pH.

    for example, pyruvic acid:


    is the carboxylic acid. but at pH > 3, most of it will be found in the deprotonated form:


    this is called "pyruvate". the same convention holds for other carboxylic acids.

    if you are talking about general or inorganic chemistry, then "-ate" is used to designate oxidation states of polyatomic ions, as Dr. Mark's link indicates.
  5. Jun 8, 2005 #4
    Thanks, Dr. Marks! that's all I was looking for
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