How do we use redox potentials to predict the reactivity of acids with metals?
Hydrochloric acid will oxidize zinc metal. It will not oxidize copper metal.
So how do you know? Well you turn to a handy redox potential:
Because, the reduction potential of zinc ion is negative, the oxidation reaction, the reverse reaction, has a positive
According to this, hydrochloric acid should oxidize those metals whose redox potentials are negative.