How can neutralization reactions be identified symbolically?

1 Answer


Neutralization reactions involve a base reacting with an acid to produce water (HOH) and a salt.


Look for an ionic compound that begins with hydrogen to identify an acid. Examples: HCl, #H_2SO_4#

Look for an ionic compound that ends with hydroxide ion to identify a base. Examples: NaOH, #Ca(OH)_2#

Examples of a neutralization reaction:

NaOH + HCl -> HOH + NaCl
base + acid -> water + salt

#Ca(OH)_2# + #H_2SO_4# -> #CaSO_4# + 2HOH
base + acid -> salt + water

Note: The reactions are double replacement (double displacement) reactions. It can be helpful to think of water as hydrogen hydroxide in these reactions because water forms when the hydrogen ion from the acid combines with a hydroxide ion from a base.

This video gives a summary of how to write neutralization reactions.

Hope this helps!