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Name:  mwang
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999 

Pertaining to the Bronsted Lowry definition of acids and bases, how come the strength of a conjugate acid or base is inversely proprtional to the strength of the other acid/base?

It seems that the more willing a acid or base is to give up/accept a proton, the more willing its conjugate should accept/let go of one.

Think of it this way: If strong and weak are competing, the strong one will always win. A strong conjugate base will always attract a proton. A strong conjugate acid will always leave its weak base. There's nothing the weak species can do about it. Cl- is a weak base. It can't hold onto it's proton so HCl will always completely dissociate. CH3COO- (acetate ion) is a strong conjugate base. It doesn't want to give up the proton and the proton can't do anything about it. So acetic acid doesn't totally dissociate. Any clearer?

-Joe Schultz

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