3 Fixed formatting and improved grammar, added one wikipedia-link. edit approved Jan 4 '15 at 10:25 John H. K. 74744 silver badges1616 bronze badges Secondary and tertiary alcohols react with strong acid (and bases) such $$HX$$$$\ce{HX}$$ following $$S_N1$$SN1 mechanism. $$\ce{ [1] \space \space ROH <=> HX + ROH_2^+ + X^-}$$$$\ce{ROH <=> HX + ROH_2^+ + X^-} \tag{1}$$ $$\ce{[2] \space \space ROH_2^+ <=> R^+ +H_2O}$$$$\ce{ROH_2^+ <=> R^+ +H_2O} \tag{2}$$ $$\ce{[3] \space \space R+ +X- \rightarrow RX}$$$$\ce{R+ +X- \rightarrow RX} \tag{3}$$ In these reactions, the rate determining step is the formation of the carbocation [2] that determine(2). So the successive attack of the nucleophilic chlorides is dependent on that.   Here is wherehow the inductive effect do the differencecomes into play. The inductive effect promote byof $$R$$$$\ce{R}$$ groups of the alcohols stabilize the carbocation (figure show the stability of carbocations from the more stable to the less) and then increase the chances of a nucleophilic attack! Secondary and tertiary alcohols react with strong acid (and bases) such $$HX$$ following $$S_N1$$ mechanism. $$\ce{ [1] \space \space ROH <=> HX + ROH_2^+ + X^-}$$ $$\ce{[2] \space \space ROH_2^+ <=> R^+ +H_2O}$$ $$\ce{[3] \space \space R+ +X- \rightarrow RX}$$ In these reactions the rate determining step is the formation of the carbocation [2] that determine the successive attack of the nucleophilic chlorides.   Here is where inductive effect do the difference. The inductive effect promote by $$R$$ groups of the alcohols stabilize the carbocation (figure show the stability of carbocations from the more stable to the less) and then increase the chances of a nucleophilic attack! Secondary and tertiary alcohols react with strong acid (and bases) such $$\ce{HX}$$ following SN1 mechanism. $$\ce{ROH <=> HX + ROH_2^+ + X^-} \tag{1}$$ $$\ce{ROH_2^+ <=> R^+ +H_2O} \tag{2}$$ $$\ce{R+ +X- \rightarrow RX} \tag{3}$$ In these reactions, the rate determining step is the formation of the carbocation (2). So the successive attack of the nucleophilic chlorides is dependent on that. Here is how the inductive effect comes into play. The inductive effect of $$\ce{R}$$ groups of the alcohols stabilize the carbocation (figure show the stability of carbocations from the more stable to the less) and then increase the chances of a nucleophilic attack! 2 added 170 characters in body edited Nov 4 '13 at 21:34 G M 7,6272828 silver badges5353 bronze badges Secondary and tertiary alcohols react with strong acid (and bases) such $$HX$$ following $$S_N1$$ mechanism. $$\ce{ [1] \space \space ROH <=> HX + ROH_2^+ + X^-}$$ $$\ce{[2] \space \space ROH_2^+ <=> R^+ +H_2O}$$ $$\ce{[3] \space \space R+ +X- \rightarrow RX}$$ In these reactions the rate determining step is the formation of the carbocation [2] that determine the successive attack of the nucleophilic chlorides. Here is where inductive effect do the difference. The inductive effect promote by $$R$$ groups of the alcohols stabilize the carbocation (figure show the stability of carbocations from the more stable to the less) and then increase the chances of a nucleophilic attack! Secondary and tertiary alcohols react with strong acid (and bases) such $$HX$$ following $$S_N1$$ mechanism. In these reactions the rate determining step is the formation of the carbocation that determine the successive attack of the nucleophilic chlorides. Here is where inductive effect do the difference. The inductive effect promote by $$R$$ groups of the alcohols stabilize the carbocation (figure show the stability of carbocations from the more stable to the less) and then increase the chances of a nucleophilic attack! Secondary and tertiary alcohols react with strong acid (and bases) such $$HX$$ following $$S_N1$$ mechanism. $$\ce{ [1] \space \space ROH <=> HX + ROH_2^+ + X^-}$$ $$\ce{[2] \space \space ROH_2^+ <=> R^+ +H_2O}$$ $$\ce{[3] \space \space R+ +X- \rightarrow RX}$$ In these reactions the rate determining step is the formation of the carbocation [2] that determine the successive attack of the nucleophilic chlorides. Here is where inductive effect do the difference. The inductive effect promote by $$R$$ groups of the alcohols stabilize the carbocation (figure show the stability of carbocations from the more stable to the less) and then increase the chances of a nucleophilic attack! 1 answered Nov 4 '13 at 21:19 G M 7,6272828 silver badges5353 bronze badges Secondary and tertiary alcohols react with strong acid (and bases) such $$HX$$ following $$S_N1$$ mechanism. In these reactions the rate determining step is the formation of the carbocation that determine the successive attack of the nucleophilic chlorides. Here is where inductive effect do the difference. The inductive effect promote by $$R$$ groups of the alcohols stabilize the carbocation (figure show the stability of carbocations from the more stable to the less) and then increase the chances of a nucleophilic attack!