Problem: Sort the following compounds based on whether or not they will behave as electrolytes that dissolve via ionization or as soluble nonelectrolytes that dissolve via hydrogen bonding.Drag the appropriate formulas to their respective bins.Electrolytes, typically known as salts, dissolve in water to form ions in solution. For some of these salts, the ion can be a polyatomic ion, which is a charged particle that consists of more than one element, e.g., NO3−.Salts are not the only ionizable compounds. Acid and base compounds, where H+ serves as the cation, can dissociate in water. The molecular formulas for organic acids are commonly written with a −COOH ending or with the acidic hydrogen first to distinguish them from nonacidic isomers, e.g., C2H5COOH or HC3H5O2 for propanoic acid.Some molecules dissolve in water without forming ions; thus they would be considered nonelectrolytes. These molecules are formed by covalent bonds and are able to dissolve through interactions between their partial charges and the partial charges on water. In the case of water, this type of interaction is known as hydrogen bonding. Hydrogen bonding can occur between one molecule in which a partially positive hydrogen is covalently bonded to an electronegative element (oxygen, nitrogen, or fluorine) and a nearby atom bearing a lone pair on a second molecule.

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Sort the following compounds based on whether or not they will behave as electrolytes that dissolve via ionization or as soluble nonelectrolytes that dissolve via hydrogen bonding.

Drag the appropriate formulas to their respective bins.


Electrolytes, typically known as salts, dissolve in water to form ions in solution. For some of these salts, the ion can be a polyatomic ion, which is a charged particle that consists of more than one element, e.g., NO3.

Salts are not the only ionizable compounds. Acid and base compounds, where H+ serves as the cation, can dissociate in water. The molecular formulas for organic acids are commonly written with a −COOH ending or with the acidic hydrogen first to distinguish them from nonacidic isomers, e.g., C2H5COOH or HC3H5O2 for propanoic acid.


Some molecules dissolve in water without forming ions; thus they would be considered nonelectrolytes. These molecules are formed by covalent bonds and are able to dissolve through interactions between their partial charges and the partial charges on water. In the case of water, this type of interaction is known as hydrogen bonding. Hydrogen bonding can occur between one molecule in which a partially positive hydrogen is covalently bonded to an electronegative element (oxygen, nitrogen, or fluorine) and a nearby atom bearing a lone pair on a second molecule.

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