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Whether the acid is neutral or negatively charged depends on if it is protonated or not. For example, HCl is a strong acid. In this form, it is considered neutral because it does not have a positive or negative charge associated with it. However, when HCl is deprotonated and separated into H+ and Cl- in aqueous solution, the Cl- is negatively charged. Remember that the general form of a neutral acid is HA, where H is the proton and A is the acidic anion. When the acid dissociates in water, it separates into the proton and acidic anion forms, where the acid is considered to have a negative charge (anion is negatively charged). When determining charge, consider whether the acid is a neutral molecule or if it is has been ionized, in which case it will have a negative charge.
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