ELI5, what the heck is the difference between a base and an acid?

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ELI5, what the heck is the difference between a base and an acid?

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They’re kind of opposites. An acid is a chemical that really likes to give up protons and a base is a chemical that really likes to steal protons away from something else. Acids can attack other molecules by “forcing” their protons on them, whereas bases attack by stealing protons. Both can be destructive enough to the chemical structure to corrode the material. Some materials are more susceptible to acid attack than bases, and vice versa.

Water is H2O. Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Some of the water molecules will be separated into H and OH. This happens naturally even in pure water.
An acid is when the water has a greater than normal number of H ions. A base is when the water has a greater than normal number of OH ions. Usually this happens by dissolving some other chemical in the water that reacts to create either an acid or base.

E.G. hydrogen chloride dissolved in water is hydrochloric acid because the H from the HCl dissolved in water creates more H ions

Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) dissolved in water creates a base because there are now extra OH ions floating about.