Thstormy examples uncovered in the sections on acids and bases proton-carry procedures are damaged into two theoretical steps: (1) donation of a proton by an acid, and also (2) acceptance of a proton by a base. (Water offered as the base in the acid instance and also as the acid in the base instance ). The theoretical actions are helpful bereason they make it straightforward to watch what species is left after an acid donated a proton and what species is created as soon as a base welcomed a proton. We shall use theoretical procedures or half-equations in this area, but you have to bear in mind that free proloads never before actually exist in aqueous solution.

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Suppose we initially take into consideration a weak acid, the ammonium ion. When it donates a proton to any kind of various other species, we have the right to write the half-equation:

< extNH_4^+ ightarrowhead extH^+ + extNH_3>

The submicroscopic depictions below show the docountry of the proton of ammonium. The removal of this proton results in NH3, which is quickly checked out at the submicroscopic level.

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But NH3 is just one of the compounds we know as a weak base. In various other words, once it donates a proton, the weak acid NH4+ is transcreated into a weak base NH3. Anvarious other example, this time founding with a weak base, is provided by fluoride ion:

< extF^- + extH^+ ightarrowhead extHF>

The submicroscopic representation above reflects how the addition of a proton to fluoride converts a weak base (F- in green) right into a weak acid (HF).

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The case simply defined for NH4+ and also NH3 or for F– and HF uses to all acids and bases. Whenever before an acid donates a proton, the acid transforms right into a base, and also whenever before a base accepts a proton, an acid is developed. An acid and a base which differ just by the presence or lack of a proton are dubbed a conjugate acid-base pair. Thus NH3 is referred to as the conjugate base of NH4+, and NH4+ is the conjugate acid of NH3. Similarly, HF is the conjugate acid of F–, and F– the conjugate base of HF.


The use of conjugate acid-base pairs permits us to make a very basic statement around relative strengths of acids and bases. The more powerful an acid, the weaker its conjugate base, and also, conversely, the stronger a base, the weaker its conjugate acid.

TABLE (PageIndex1):Important Conjugate Acid-Base Pairs.

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