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Question) Complete and balance each of the following molecular equations (in aqueous solution); include phase labels. Then, for each, write the net ionic equation.

(A) $\ce{NH_3 + HNO_3 ->}$

My Attempt: I thought that the acid $\ce{HNO3}$ would just give its hydrogen to $\ce{NH3}$ and make the resulting reaction $\ce{NH_3 + HNO_3 -> HNH_3 + NO_3}$. However the correct answer is $\ce{NH_3 + HNO_3 -> NH_4NO_3}.$

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Your answer is very close to the answer given, except for the following two tidbits (the first being more significant).

  1. An acid-base reaction is not the exchange of a hydrogen atom $\ce{H}$. It is the exchange of a hydrogen ion (or proton) $\ce{H+}$. Thus your answer should be: $$\ce{NH3 +HNO3 -> NH4+ + NO3-}$$
  2. The given answer combines the two ions produced into a single compound, which is reasonable given that you are not told if the reaction occurs in aqueous solution. $$\ce{NH4+ + NO3- ->NH4NO3}$$
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+1, but I think you may have a minor oversight: the OP's question is prefaced with a specification that the reaction is taking place in aqueous solution. – Greg E. Jul 20 '14 at 20:19
Well, then, we should show the ionic products as dissociated as in the first part of my answer. – Ben Norris Jul 20 '14 at 23:35

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