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This question already has an answer here:

I just saw something in a chemistry lesson what got me confused.

What is the difference between $\ce{2O}$ and $\ce{O2}$?

Thanks for the help!

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marked as duplicate by airhuff, paracetamol, Jon Custer, Todd Minehardt, Nilay Ghosh May 31 '17 at 2:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    $\begingroup$ The 2 O represents two separate oxygen atoms, ( not connected to one another so free to move around and react independently ), the $\ce{O2}$ is molecular oxygen. $\endgroup$ – porphyrin May 30 '17 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Porphyrin Why dont you post it as an answer? I think its the simplest solution I've heard yet. My teacher was just talking weird stuff! $\endgroup$ – WasteD May 30 '17 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ @BerryHolmes No actually not I saw that question but its not that what I was looking for. $\endgroup$ – WasteD May 30 '17 at 17:48
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  1. $\ce{2O}$ is basically two atoms of oxygen, unbonded and separate.

  2. On the other hand, $\ce{O2}$ is oxygen molecule, which is more commonly called oxygen gas.

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