Problem: Why is HF a weak acid and HCl a strong acid?

FREE Expert Solution

We´re asked to explain why HF is a weak acid and HCl is a strong acid.


Most acids have one common feature and that is the presence of the hydronium ion, which is represented by H+ or H3O+.


There are two major types of acids:

  • Binary acids: where H+ is attached to an electronegative element (N, S, P, or halogen).

These types of acids lack the element Oxygen and usually posses no metals.

The most common type of these acids are the haloacids (Halogen and H+).

  • Oxyacids: they contain H+, oxygen, and nonmetal.

They are created by the hydration of nonmetal oxides.


HF and HCl are made by H+ and a Halogen, so they´re Binary acids.


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Why is HF a weak acid and HCl a strong acid?

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Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Identifying Acids and Bases concept. You can view video lessons to learn Identifying Acids and Bases. Or if you need more Identifying Acids and Bases practice, you can also practice Identifying Acids and Bases practice problems.