# Isn't hydrogen chloride a salt, because it is an ionic compound? [closed]

So I just learned in chemistry that salts are ionic compounds. Shouldn't, $$\ce{H+Cl-}$$ be a salt since hydrogen ion has positive charge and chloride ion has negative charge? If $$\ce{HCl}$$ is a salt then why do we call it an acid?

Sorry if my question is stupid.

• A is B does not generally mean B is A. Salts have ionic structure when in pure form ( or would have if not stable enough to isolate them ). It is not the case of HCl // BTW, a compound can be a salt, an acid and a base at the same time, like solution of KH2PO4. As being a salt, aan acid or a base are different, not excluding behaviour aspects of compounds. Sep 16 '21 at 7:36
• Pure $\ce{HCl}$ is not a salt. Pure $\ce{HCl}$ is a gas, and a molecular gas. It is not made of ions. A salt is made of ions. There are no ions in pure $\ce{HCl}$. OTOH, $\ce{HCl}$ does not react with $\ce{CO3}$ Sep 16 '21 at 9:49
• HCl is not ionic. True, it becomes ionic when dissolved in water, but that's another story. Salts are compounds of metals, and there are no metals in HCl. Sep 16 '21 at 11:19
• "Salts are compounds of metals". Like ammonium chloride. OK. 🙄 Sep 16 '21 at 15:50

Hydrogen and chlorine atoms of $$\ce{HCl}$$ in gaseous state are covalently bound and is termed hydrogen chloride. When this gas is bubbled into water, it ionizes completely to give $$\ce{H3O+}$$ (free proton + water molecule) and $$\ce{Cl-}$$ ions and becomes an acid solution which is termed hydrochloric acid. Even in gaseous $$\ce{HCl}$$, the charge is not distributed evenly. The chlorine is partially negative and the hydrogen is partially positive.
• The free ion $\ce{H+}$ does not exist in water, because it is not an atom : it is a proton, and it is much smaller than an atom. So it is attached to the Oxygen atom of the next water molecule, producing the ion $\ce{H3O+}$ Sep 16 '21 at 19:05
No bond is completely ionic or completely covalent, Fajan's rule. Also $$HCl$$ is predominantly a covalent compound rather than ionic.
Sure, $$\ce{HCl}$$ does dissociate into $$\ce{H+}$$ and $$\ce{Cl-}$$ in a polar solvent, but that doesn't mean $$\ce{HCl}$$ is simply $$\ce{H+}$$ and $$\ce{Cl-}$$. It is largely covalent. Now you can answer your question. Hope that helps.