There are several ways to categorize chemical reactions, more than can possibly be covered in a single Chemistry textbook. This textbook will categorize reactions in a few places, and this is the first place where we will see it. In this section we will categorize some reactions based on recognizing patterns in the changes to reactants and products without considering the chemical identities of those reactants and products. We will also look at one type of reaction where we do consider reactants and products in the categorization of it. We will see more examples of categorizing reactions based on identity of reactants and products in later chapters of this textbook.
The ideas introduced in this section will be explored in greater detail in the next section for some of the reactions we are considering. When we get to this section, we will look at making predictions of the products based on the reactants and the reaction type.