Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Polyatomic ions, -ate and -ite suffixes

  1. Oct 12, 2005 #1

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2005 #2

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    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.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook