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If the reaction depends on the concentrations of two or more reactants, you could say it is first order with respect to the reactant. So in the example in class today, it is first order with respect to NH4+ (or in NH4+) and first order in NO2-. And the overall order is the sum so it is a second order reaction.
you can use the hw question #15 to help your understanding on this. [CH3Br] and [OH-] both end in having the order = 1 (n=1, m=1) so if you add n and m you get 2. the OVERALL reaction order is 2 while the individual reactions have the reaction order of 1.
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