# why are E2 and SN2 reactions not competing reactions?

I am quite confused about the competition of $$\mathrm{E2}$$ and $$\mathrm{S_N2}$$ reactions. My lecturers say $$\mathrm{E2}$$ and $$\mathrm{S_N2}$$ reactions are not competing reactions but most websites say they are. Please I would like to be clarified on whether $$\mathrm{E2}$$ and $$\mathrm{S_N2}$$ reactions are competing reactions, and if not, why?

• If the question has been sufficiently answered, please accept it! – HappyFeet Me Apr 5 '20 at 7:44

1.Both properties, nucleophilicity and basicity of a reagent may be in competition. For example, a sterically hindered compound which potentially could act as a nucleophile by the presence of a free electron pair will be considered a poor nucleophile and instead a good base. Examples of sterically hindered bases are 2,6-lutidine (mild), potassium tert-butoxide, LDA (strong). The small methanolate, $$\ce{CH3O-}$$, on the contrary, may act simultaneously as nucleophile as well as a base.