If in a reaction SN1 pathway is followed then after the formation of carbocation the reagent or the solvent molecule can attack to form the product. As the number of solvent molecules are significantly higher than the reagent molecules the solvolysis product should be the major one, but then why is the reagent substitution product given as the major one?

Is is just because we have to 'use' the reagent since it is given to us?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Depends on what the solvent is. Which solvent are you asking about? $\endgroup$ – Waylander May 3 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ The solvent will react IF it can react irreversibly with a carbocation. $\endgroup$ – SteffX May 3 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solvolysis $\endgroup$ – Mathew Mahindaratne May 4 at 4:45
  • $\begingroup$ So, how to decide which nucleophile will form the major product the reagent or the solvent? $\endgroup$ – FullBridge May 4 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Waylander so is my assumption that the solvent (as a nucleophile) should form the major product because the number of solvent molecules are significantly higher wrong? $\endgroup$ – FullBridge May 4 at 18:43

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