# Can CH3COOH be written as C2H4O2? [duplicate]

I was reading a chapter on acids and bases .It said something about acetic acid.And then I thought whether I could write CH3COOH as C2H4O2? please explain your answer.

Thanks!!

## marked as duplicate by Jan, Community♦Sep 12 '16 at 16:22

• Yes you can, if you like being misunderstood. There are several $\ce{C2H4O2}$'s, but only one $\ce{CH3COOH}$. What you absolutely can't do is getting you uppercase/lowercase letters wrong. In chemistry, like in some programming languages, this is considered a major infraction. – Ivan Neretin Sep 12 '16 at 15:48
$\ce{C2H4O2}$ is the molecular formula of acetic acid. As such, it's a correct method to write the molecule. However, you should note that, as Ivan Neretin mentioned, molecular formulae are not necessarily unique for a given molecule.