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To explain my question I'll use an example: We all know that sodium displaces copper in a solution of its sulfate in the reaction:

$$\ce{2Na (s) + CuSO4 (aq) \rightarrow Na2SO4 (aq) + Cu (s)}$$

My question is why don't some of the water molecules present in the aqueous solution of $\ce{CuSO4}$ also react with the sodium (Na) to form sodium hydroxide and hydrogen ($\ce{NaOH + H2}$) along side this displacement reaction. Shouldn't at least a bit of NaOH be formed?

I would appreciate a comprehensive response that a high school sophomore (me) would understand. Thanks in advance.

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why don't some of the water molecules present in the aqueous solution of $\ce{CuSO4}$ also react with the sodium (Na) to form sodium hydroxide and hydrogen ($\ce{NaOH + H2}$)

I agree that sodium metal would react with the water. Where/how did you come up with the equation implying otherwise?

I think you'll enjoy this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5yLtqlopTM

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  • $\begingroup$ "Did you put sodium metal in water?" "No, it was in copper sulfate!"... dissolved in water. $\endgroup$ – user253751 Oct 16 '15 at 4:49

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