Remembering Common Polyatomic Anions and Cations

Note: this isn't great for pulling them off the top of your head; but this is a good way to build a table you can refer to throughout the exam

Anions
1) mneumonic for the main anion "families"

I was

POor SO I COuld NOt go. OH!
SO Sulfate
<---- easy-to-recall pattern (?)

that's Phosphate, Sulfate, Carbonate, Nitrate & Hydroxide

PO Phosphate

CO Carbonate

NO Nitrate

OH Hydroxide

2) the mneumonic above sets up a nice, orderly pattern to help remember the subscripts and charges of the top row:

434 232 311

PO 4 3- SO 4 2- CO 3 2- NO 3 1- OH 13) Once you have the top row built, move on from there: a) one fewer oxygen , suffix goes from -ate to -ite
+ b) each hydrogen (H ) added brings the negative charge one closer to neutral

PO43- Phosphate HPO42- Hydrogen
phosphate phosphate

SO42- Sulfate HSO41- Hydrogen sulfate
(or bisulfate)

CO32- Carbonate HCO31- Hydrogen carbonate
(or bicarbonate)

NO31- Nitrate NO21- Nitrite

OH1- Hydroxide

H2PO41- Dihydrogen

SO32- Sulfite HSO31- Hydrogen sulfite
(or bisulfite)

CH3CO21- Acetate CN1- Cyanide

Cations
Wish I had something clever here, usually when I'm writing this down I simply add to the mneumonic:

I was

POor SO I COuld NOt go. OH! Hydronium, Ammonium
NH41+ Ammonium
Ammonia plus H
+

H3O1+ Hydronium
Water plus H
+

Remembering Common Polyatomic Anions and Cations

POor SO I COuld NOt go. OH! Hydronium, Ammonium 434 232 311 <---- The subscripts and charges of the top row
I was PO 4 3- SO 4 2- CO 3 2- NO 3 1- OH 1one fewer oxygen , suffix goes from -ate to -ite each hydrogen (H ) added brings the negative charge one closer to neutral
+

PO43- Phosphate HPO42- Hydrogen
phosphate phosphate

SO42- Sulfate HSO41- Hydrogen sulfate
(or bisulfate)

CO32- Carbonate HCO31- Hydrogen carbonate
(or bicarbonate)

NO31- Nitrate NO21- Nitrite

OH1- Hydroxide

H2PO41- Dihydrogen

SO32- Sulfite HSO31- Hydrogen sulfite
(or bisulfite)

CH3CO21- Acetate CN1- Cyanide

H3O1+ Hydronium
Water plus H+

NH41+ Ammonium
Ammonia plus H+

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