Writing Word Equations


Writing A Word Equation

Writing a word equation describes a chemical reaction using just the names of the chemicals involved in the reaction. The names of the chemicals listed on the left(reactants) or right(products) of the arrow are separate by a plus sign: reactant one + reactant two... ➝ product one + product two...

Writing The Word Equation Example One: Formation of Sulfur Trioxide

To write the word equation based on the statement ”Solid sulfur reacts with oxygen gas to form sulfur trioxide” is a two step process: 1) Identify the chemicals involved; sulfur, oxygen and sulfur trioxide; 2) Determine which are reactants and products. The “to form” separates the sulfur and oxygen reactants from the product sulfur trioxide. The “to form” implies the arrow(➝) in the word equation between the reactants and product. The “reacts with” implies a plus(+) sign between the sulfur and oxygen. The word equation is "sulfur + oxygen ➝ sulfur trioxide”.

Writing The Word Equation Example Two: Decomposition of Potassium Chlorate

To write the word equation based on the statement ”Potassium chlorate solid decomposes to form potassium chloride solid and oxygen gas.” is a two step process: 1) Identify the chemicals involved; potassium chlorate, potassium chloride and oxygen; 2) Determine which are reactants and products. The “to form” separates the reactant potassium chlorate and products potassium chloride and oxygen . The “to form” implies the arrow(➝) between the rectants and products in the word equation. The “reacts with” implies a plus(+) sign. The word equation is "potassium chlorate➝potassium chloride+oxygen”.

Writing The Word Equation Example Three: Formation of Liquid Water

To write the word equation based on the statement ”Oxygen gas reacts with hydrogen gas to form liquid water. is a two step process: 1) Identify the chemicals involved; oxygen, hydrogen and water  2) Determine which are reactants and products. The “to form” separates the oxygen and hydrogen reactants from the product water. The “to form” implies the arrow(➝) in the word equation between the reactants and product. The “reacts with” implies a plus(+) sign between the oxygen and hydrogen. The word equation is “oxygen + hydrogen ➝ water”.

© Pat Thayer 2014-2016