# Para effects on substituents in aromatic compounds

I wanted to know how to compare the following compounds on basis of acidic strength.

I have to find the acidic strength of following compounds with $$\mathrm{X}=\ce{CH3, \ OCH3,}$$ and $$\ce{NO2}$$.

For ease of explaining, denote the first compunds as (A), the second as (B), and the third as (C)

Due to steric inhibition of Resonance (SIR) effect, compound (A) will be the most acidic, as its anion will be the least stable.

Now for ordering the other two, I know that there are two things affecting acidic character:

1. Bond strength; the weaker the bond, the higher its acidic strength
2. Charge on hydrogen; the more positive charge their is on the hydrogen, the more its acidic strength.

So now if we take $$\mathrm{X}=\ce{CH3}$$, we should have that $$\mathrm{(A)>(C)>(B)}$$; as $$\ce{CH3}$$ is an electron donating group and it would make the hydrogen less positive, and inductive effect is distance dependent. This answer is incorrect as per my textbook, which says $$\mathrm{(A)>(B)>(C)}$$.

If we take $$\mathrm{X}=\ce{OCH3}$$ which is an electron withdrawing group, we should have $$\mathrm{(A)>(B)>(C)}$$. This answer is correct.

If we take $$\mathrm{X}=\ce{NO2}$$, which is also an electron withdrawing, we should have $$\mathrm{(A)>(B)>(C)}$$. But my textbook says the answer is $$\mathrm{(A)>(C)>(B)}$$.

I wanted to know where am I going wrong, and if there is some other effect I am not taking into account.

Note: my earlier question was closed due to the similar question: Ortho-effect in substituted aromatic acids and bases. But that question only deals with the ortho effects of substituents, not the para.

• Actually, where are your structures (A), (B), and (C)? – Mathew Mahindaratne May 1 at 4:29