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Acid vs. Base: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 19, 2023
Acids are substances that donate protons (H+) and taste sour; bases accept protons and taste bitter.

Key Differences

Acids are substances that can donate a proton (hydrogen ion, H+) to another substance, making them proton donors. Bases, on the contrary, are substances that can accept a proton, classifying them as proton acceptors.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
In terms of taste, acids typically have a sour flavor, which is why many citrus fruits like lemons and oranges taste tangy. Bases usually have a bitter taste and may feel slippery when touched.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
When acids and bases react together, they neutralize each other, resulting in the formation of water and a salt. This reaction highlights their contrasting and balancing chemical behaviors.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
On the pH scale, which measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, acids are found below a pH of 7, with 0 being the most acidic. Bases, conversely, are found above a pH of 7, with 14 being the most basic or alkaline.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023
When considering their impact on indicators like litmus paper, acids turn blue litmus paper red, indicating their acidic nature. Bases will turn red litmus paper blue, signifying their basic nature.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Substances that donate protons (H+).
Substances that accept protons (H+).
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Taste

Typically sour.
Generally bitter.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

PH Value

Below 7.
Above 7.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Neutralization

React with bases to form salt and water.
React with acids to form salt and water.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Litmus Test

Turn blue litmus paper red.
Turn red litmus paper blue.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
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Acid and Base Definitions

Acid

Acids have a pH value below 7.
Vinegar, which contains acetic acid, is acidic.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Base

Bases have a pH value above 7.
Ammonia solution is basic and has a pH greater than 7.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Acid

Acid is a substance that donates a proton.
Hydrochloric acid releases H+ ions in solution.
Huma Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Base

Bases often taste bitter.
Soap, which is basic, has a distinct bitter taste.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Acid

Acids often have a tangy or sour flavor.
Citric acid gives lemons their sour taste.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Base

Base is a substance that can accept a proton.
Sodium hydroxide accepts H+ ions.
Huma Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Acid

Acids can corrode some metals.
Sulfuric acid can react with zinc to produce hydrogen gas.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Base

Bases can feel slippery.
Soap feels slippery because it has a basic nature.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Acid

Acids turn blue litmus paper red.
When dipped in an acid, the litmus paper changes color.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Base

Bases turn red litmus paper blue.
A base will change the color of red litmus paper when tested.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Acid

Any of a class of substances whose aqueous solutions are characterized by a sour taste, the ability to turn blue litmus red, and the ability to react with bases and certain metals to form salts.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2017

Base

The lowest or bottom part
The base of a cliff.
The base of a lamp.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2017

Acid

A substance that yields hydrogen ions when dissolved in water.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2017

Base

The part of a plant or animal organ that is nearest to its point of attachment.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 09, 2017

FAQs

What's the main difference between acid and base?

Acids donate protons (H+), while bases accept them.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

What happens when an acid reacts with a base?

They neutralize each other, forming water and salt.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 19, 2023

Which is more acidic, a solution with pH 1 or pH 6?

A solution with pH 1 is more acidic.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

What are some common household bases?

Ammonia and baking soda are common bases.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Do acids always have a pH below 7?

Yes, acids always have a pH below 7.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Can acids and bases be found in everyday products?

Yes, products like vinegar are acidic, and soap is basic.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

How do bases usually taste?

Bases typically taste bitter.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

How do acids respond to blue litmus paper?

Acids turn blue litmus paper red.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Can acids corrode metals?

Yes, many acids can corrode metals.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

Are all bases slippery to touch?

Many bases feel slippery, but not necessarily all.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Can acids and bases be used in cooking?

Yes, acids like lemon juice and bases like baking soda are used in cooking.
Janet White
Oct 19, 2023

Is water an acid or base?

Pure water is neutral with a pH of 7.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

What's a common taste for acids?

Acids generally taste sour.
Huma Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Is baking soda acidic or basic?

Baking soda is basic.
Sara Rehman
Oct 19, 2023

Are bases harmful to the skin?

Some concentrated bases can be caustic and harmful.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

What are some examples of strong acids?

Examples include sulfuric acid and hydrochloric acid.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Are all acids dangerous?

While many are corrosive, not all acids are harmful in diluted or small quantities.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Is lemon juice an acid or base?

Lemon juice is acidic due to citric acid.
Harlon Moss
Oct 19, 2023

What pH value represents a neutral substance?

A pH of 7 represents neutrality.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

What color does a base turn red litmus paper?

Bases turn red litmus paper blue.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 19, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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