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I was taught that when the concentration of the reactants is greater than the concentration of products then the position of equilibrium is shifted towards the left.

However when I used La'Chateliers Principle then we know that if you increase the concentration of reactants then the system wants to revert that change a hence produce a higher concentration of products (and subsequently a lower concentration of reactants) but wouldn't this then mean that the equilibrium would shift to the right?

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You statement of Le Chatelier's Principle is a perversion that isn't true. The equilibrium does not depend on the sum of the concentrations of the reactants relative to the sum of the concentration of the products.

Your analysis is correct.

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Words confuse sometimes. "Shifting" is usually used in the context of Le Chatelier's Principle, and is a verb. K is the equilibrium ratio of concentrations of species to their stoichiometic powers, and Q is the ratio of the concentrations of species raised to their stoichiometric powers at any point in time. When Q>K, there's more products than there should be. You can think of the reaction as "tilted" toward the right. The reaction will then "shift"/move to the left, trying to reduce its Q by forming reactants from products until Q=K.

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  • $\begingroup$ This makes no sense. What are Q and K?!? $\endgroup$ – MaxW Apr 1 '16 at 3:29

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