The energy separation between the ground-state structures of HSO and HOS has been determined by using two independent ab initio methods. In the first method, the optimized geometry of all species was obtained at the HF/6-31G(d) level, as were harmonic vibrational frequencies for zero-point energy corrections. The energies were calculated by using fourth-order Møller-Plesset perturbation theory and a 6-31G(d,p) basis set. After corrections for extrapolation of the Møller-Plesset series to infinite order and extension of the basis set to include diffuse sp-, extra d-, and f-type Gaussian functions, the predicted energy separation, including zero-point vibrational effects, is 2.5 kcal/mol. HOS is the more stable isomer. The second method uses a double-ζ basis augmented with an extra set of p functions and two sets of d functions on the sulfur and oxygen atoms and a double-ζ+p basis on hydrogen. With this basis, equilibrium structures of HSO and HOS were obtained from MCSCF calculations; the energy separation between these structures was corrected by using large scale configuration interaction. In good agreement with the first method, HOS is the more stable isomer by 3.1 kcal/mol. Through calculation of the energy change in the reaction HO2 + XY → O2 + HXY, the first method predicts the heats of formation of HXY = HSO, HOS, and HS2 to be -0.4, -2.9, and 26.7 kcal/mol, respectively. © 1985 American Chemical Society.