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I think we just have to memorize which ones on the periodic table would be amphoteric. I guess another way to see is if in the reaction, if you know that one reactant is definitely always a acid or base, the other reactant would be amphoteric.
I understand that amphoteric compounds can act as both bases and acids but how do we figure out when it acts as which. Is it that one part of the chemical equation will be an aid so the amphoteric compound would result in a base or how would this work?
Some amphoteric compounds you can also deduce. For example, seeing water, you can deduce that it can lose its H+ ion (proton) to form OH- (acting as Bronsted acid) and you can deduce that it can accept a H+ ion (proton) to form H3O+ (acting as Bronsted base) therefore deducing that it is amphoteric.
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