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Polyatomic ions, -ate and -ite suffixes

  1. Oct 12, 2005 #1

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    With the Polyatomic ions, how do you tell an "ate" from an "ite" when choosing the suffix? I didn't quite catch what the teacher was saying but there was something about the charge compared with the subscript, I think? :confused:
     
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  3. Oct 12, 2005 #2

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    er.. maybe this actually belongs in science education area. I just saw the restructuring. Feel free to move this if needed. :smile:
     
  4. Oct 12, 2005 #3
    You generally have to memorize the polyatomic ions, since an -ate won't have a set number and neither will an -ite, it will depend on what the poly. ion is.

    Such as sulfite (SO3) and sulfate (S04) vs. Nitrite (NO2) and Nitrate (NO3)

    However, you only need to memroize the -ite one, since you know the -ate one is always just going to have one more.
     
  5. Oct 12, 2005 #4

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    OK, thanks very much! :smile:
     
  6. Oct 12, 2005 #5
    Ite refers to the lower state of oxidation and ate to the higher state. Example: copper sulfite and copper sulfate.
     
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