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What is the best way to differentiate between a strong acid/base and a weak acid/base. For example how do we know ammonia is a weak base while sodium hydroxide is a strong base and acetic acid is a weak acid while HCl is a strong acid.
The strength of an acid or base is defined by the extent of dissociation it has in water. So if it is completely dissociated, then it can be considered a strong base/acid. However, if it is partially dissociated, then it will be a weak acid/base.
For the purposes of this class, I wouldn't worry too much about figuring out which bases/ acid is stronger because the best way of "figuring it out" would be experimentally. You may be able to have an idea of how much an acid/ base would dissociate based on electronegativity differences though.
For this class, a good way to differentiate between strong acids/bases from weak acids/bases is by memorizing the strong ones. Only a few acids and bases are strong. If you do not recognize the acid as a strong acid, it is most likely a weak acid.
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