Last time ns talked about the procedure of deciding if a reaction goes through SN1, SN2, E1, or E2 as asking a collection of questions. I contact it The quick N’ Dirty overview To SN1/SN2/E1/E2. This is the 2nd instalment.

You are watching: Sodium methoxide strong or weak base

After determining Whether her Substrate Is Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, or Methyl, study The Nucleophile/Base

Once we’ve looked at a reaction and also recognized that it has actually the potential for proceeding v SN1/SN2/E1/E2 – the is, is it an alkyl halide, alkyl sulfonate (abbreviated together OTs or OMs) or alcohol – and also asked even if it is the carbon attached come the leaving group is primary, secondary, or tertiary, us next can look at the reagent for the reaction.

In substitution reactions, a nucleophile develops a brand-new bond come carbon, and a bond between the carbon and the leaving team is broken. In removed reactions, a base creates a new bond with a proton from the carbon, the C-H shortcut breaks, a C-C π shortcut forms, and a bond in between carbon and leaving team is broken.

There’s a many confusion from students on this point. “How carry out I recognize what’s a nucleophile and also what’s a base?”.

Whether something is a nucleophile or a base depends ~ above the type of bond the is forming in the reaction. Take a varieties like NaOH. It’s both a strong base and also a good nucleophile. When it’s forming a bond to hydrogen (in an elimination reaction, because that instance), we say it’s acting as a base. Similarly, once it’s developing a bond to carbon (as in a substitution reaction) we say it’s acting as a nucleophile. 

It’s a relationship, in various other words. For instance, as soon as I’m interacting with my wife, I’m connecting with her as a husband. When I’m talk to my mom, I’m interacting with her as a son. I’m the very same person, yet depending on who I’m interacting with, our relationship has various names.

Anyway. All this is prelude come making the vital determination because that today, which is:

Charged bases/nucleophiles will often tend to perform SN2/E2 reactions.Reactions whereby neutral bases/nucleophiles are involved tend to go v carbocations (i.e. They tend to be SN1/E1).
Again: Quick N’ Dirty is one 80/20 set of principles. There are exceptions!!! yet this structure will help us in many situations.

See more: Love'S Not Time'S Fool Figure Of Speech Used In Shakespeare'S Sonnet 116?

What Is A “Charged” Nucleophile or Base?

Let’s talk around charged nucleophiles first. It’s crucial to have the ability to recognize charged nucleophiles. The dues are frequently not composed in, but “implied”. For example, NaOEt (sodium ethoxide) actually has an ionic bond in between Na(+) and (-)OEt, even though the charges us aren’t written in (us chemists are lazy that way). So if you check out Na, K, or Li, because that instance, you’re looking at a fee nucleophile/base. Even if it is it’s K, Na, or Li doesn’t issue for our functions – this are just spectator ions.