How do you differentiate between free radical, nucleophile, electrophile, carbocation and carbanion?
Free radicals are molecules that have an unpaired (lone) electron. This makes them very unstable, and they rapidly combine with other species that are trying to gain a valence electron.
Nucleophiles can donates a pair of electrons to an electrophile thereby forming a chemical bond.
Electrophiles have empty orbitals that are can attract electron pairs thereby forming chemical bonds.
Carbocations contain a carbon atom that has 3 bonds plus a positive charge. They tend to be unstable and therefore react readily.
Carbanions contain a carbon atom that has 3 bonds plus a formal negative charge.