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# What are metathesis reactions?

A metathesis reaction is a reaction in which cations and anions change partners.

A metathesis reaction is a reaction in which cations and anions change partners.

A general equation for a metathesis is color(red)"A"color(blue)"X"+color(green)"C"color(purple)"Y"rarrcolor(red)"A"color(purple)"Y"+color(green)"C"color(blue)"X", where color(red)"A" and color(green)"C" are cations, and color(blue)"X" and color(purple)"Y" are anions.

There are three possible products of a metathesis reaction.

A. an insoluble (solid) precipitate

B. water (from reaction)

C. an insoluble gas that bubbles out of solution

Metathesis reactions are also called and double displacement reactions.

The following video illustrates a precipitation reaction, an example of a metathesis reaction that forms a precipitate.