## Introduction

In chemistry, precipitation reactions occur when two aqueous solutions react and form an insoluble solid, known as a precipitate. One common example of a precipitation reaction is the reaction between silver nitrate and sodium chloride, which produces silver chloride as the precipitate. In this article, we will explore how to interpret and balance this type of reaction.

## Word Equation

The first step in understanding the reaction is to write the word equation. In this case, it is:

silver nitrate + sodium chloride → silver chloride + sodium nitrate

## Input Interpretation

The next step is to convert the word equation into a chemical equation using chemical formulas. In this case, it becomes:

*AgNO3 + NaCl → AgCl + NaNO3*

## Balanced Equation

To balance the equation, we need to ensure that the number of atoms of each element is the same on both sides. We can do this algebraically by adding stoichiometric coefficients, c1, c2, c3, and c4, to the reactants and products.

*AgNO3 + NaCl → AgCl + NaNO3*

*c1 AgNO3 + c2 NaCl → c3 AgCl + c4 NaNO3*

Next, we set the number of atoms for each element equal on both sides.

*Ag: c1 = c3*

*N: c1 = c4*

*O: 3c1 = 3c4*

*Cl: c2 = c3*

*Na: c2 = c4*

Since the coefficients are relative quantities and underdetermined, we choose a coefficient to set arbitrarily. Usually, we set one of the coefficients to 1. For instance, let's set c1 = 1 and solve the system of equations for the remaining coefficients.

*c1 = 1, c2 = 1, c3 = 1, c4 = 1*

Finally, we substitute the coefficients into the chemical reaction to obtain the balanced equation.

## Balanced Equation

*AgNO3 + NaCl → AgCl + NaNO3*