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My Campbell's Biology 9th edition textbook says that a dehydration synthesis is a reaction in which water is produced while two monomers are joined together. Specifically, it makes the following statement:

One monomer provides a hydroxyl group (-OH), while the other provides a hydrogen (-H).

Sorry if this is a silly question to ask, but what I'm wondering is how exactly a Hydrogen electron joined with a Hydroxyl will create H2O? Why isn't it a Hydrogen atom (1 proton and 1 electron) rather than just the electron which moves?

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The dash ("-") does not represent a negative charge or an electron. It simply indicates that the group of atoms ( -OH or -H ) are attached (covalently bonded) to other atoms in a molecule. So they are saying one monomer (molecule) contributes OH to the reaction and the other H. (A charge is indicated by a trailing superscript minus sign.)

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  • $\begingroup$ That's what I suspected, thanks for the response and for clarifying! $\endgroup$ Feb 24, 2016 at 19:18

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