Qualitative analysis is a field of analytical chemistry. It uses chemical reactions to find out what an unknown chemical element is. Qualitative chemistry is used in many jobs. It is very useful for testing for drugs and poisons.
Many reactions are used in qualitative chemistry. For example, fire or sodium hydroxide can be used to learn what metals are in the compound. The scientist would know what metal was in an unknown compound by the colour of the flame. silver nitrate can show what group seven ions are in a compound.
Qualitative chemistry can be easily confused with Quantitative chemistry. "Qualitative" refers to what is present, while "quantitative" refers to how much is present.