Reaction types! Watch

Chmbiogeog
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Would anyone be able to give me a simple explanation of how to distinguish whether a reaction is electrophilic or nucleophilic. My teacher just seems to chuck these names at us with no explanation.
Thank you
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MexicanKeith
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(Original post by Chmbiogeog)
Would anyone be able to give me a simple explanation of how to distinguish whether a reaction is electrophilic or nucleophilic. My teacher just seems to chuck these names at us with no explanation.
Thank you
Starting from the basics, electrophilic means "likes electrons" (ie negative charge) and nucleophilic means "likes nuclei" (ie positive charge). In general this means an electrophile is a reagent that can accept electrons and a nucleophile is a reagent that donates electrons. Hopefully that's clear!

For organic reactions (to which these labels are most often applied) the reaction tends to be viewed from the point of view of the organic reagent. That is to say, if the organic component is being attacked by a nucleophile (such as NH3, Br-, H2O, etc.) then we would label this reaction as a nucleophilic reaction (almost always a substitution if you are at A level).
Whereas, if attack is by an electrophile (eg NO2+, Br2, etc.) this reaction would be viewed as an electrophilic attack. (eg electrophilic addition to a double bond).

So in order to classify, think about the reagent that isnt the organic compound, whatever "prefix"-file that is, the reaction will be classified as "prefix"-filic, if that makes sense!
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charco
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(Original post by Chmbiogeog)
Would anyone be able to give me a simple explanation of how to distinguish whether a reaction is electrophilic or nucleophilic. My teacher just seems to chuck these names at us with no explanation.
Thank you
Check this link out:

www.ibchem.com/drop/htm/org/mech_all.htm
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