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EASY Structural formula questions - (Dec/13/2008 )

In structural formulas like -COOH and -CH2OH why is the COOH not written with a subcript of 2 instead of the second O and in CH2OH why is there the subscript 2 instead of writing the two H's out and why isn't it a H3 and why was the last H written out? In structural formulas, why are some subscripts written out and some subscripts written? Would it be okay to use them interchangeably (like CO2H and CH3O)?


the oxygens in cooh are not equivalent. one is double bound to the carbon and the other is part of a hydroxyl group (-oh) bound to the carbon.

ch2oh has 2 equivalent hydrogens (h2) and a hydroxyl group (oh).