This problem set was developed by S.E. Van Bramer for Chemistry 145 at Widener University.
The following outline is to help you decide how to name a chemical compound. Use it as a flow chart to break down the different systems of naming to determine the name of a compound.
Formulas and Names of Binary Metal-Nonmetal Compounds
- The name of the metal is first (ie: NaCl, sodium chloride)
- The name of the nonmetal has -ide added (ie: NaCl sodium chloride)
- IF the metal has more than one possible charge
- With the Stock Method you must indicate which ion using the charge in roman numerals (ie: FeCl2 Iron (II) chloride).
- Alternatively the common name may be used if the metal has more than one possible ion. Here use the Latin root and then add -ous for the lower charge. -ic for the higher charge.
- FeCl2 ferrous chloride
- FeCl3 ferric chloride
- More examples showing the two different systems:
|Compound ||Stock Method||Common Name|
|FeF2||iron (II) fluoride||ferrous fluoride|
|FeF3||iron (III)fluoride||ferric fluoride|
|Hg2Br2||mercury (I) bromide||mercurous bromide|
|HgBr2||mercury (II) bromide||mercuric bromide|
Formulas and Names of Binary Nonmetal-Nonmetal Compounds
- Systematic Nomenclature:
- For names start with element to the left side on the periodic table
- add -ide to the second element
- use Greek prefixes for number of atoms: mono, di, tri, tetra, penta, hexa, hepta, octa, nona, deca
- CO carbon monoxide
- CO2 carbon dioxide
- N2O5 dinitrogen pentoxide
- Common names: -ous and -ic (-ic has greater charge, OR has fewer atoms). Examples:
|Formula||Systematic Name||Common Name|
|NO ||nitrogen monoxide ||nitric oxide |
|N2O||dinitrogen monoxide ||nitrous oxide|
|NO2||nitrogen dioxide||nitrogen peroxide|
|N2O5||dinitrogen pentoxide ||nitric anhydride|
|N2O3||dinitrogen trioxide ||nitrous anhydride|
- Names of Polyatomic Ions
- Anions are negative, Cations are positive
- ammonium ion NH41+
- -ide ions
- CN1- cyanide
- OH1- hydroxide
- -ate ate more oxygen.
- Sometimes oxyanions have an extra hydrogen
|HSO41-||hydrogen sulfate (or bisulfate)|
- If more than two possibilities:
- Naming compounds with polyatomic ions
- Positive charge species on left (using Stock method or common name)
- Negative charge species on right (using name of polyatomic ion)
- Use parentheses as needed
||Ba2+ and SO42-
||Ca+2 and NO31-
||Ca+2 and NO21-
||Fe2+ and NO31-
||iron (II) nitrate or
- Hydro Acids: Hydro + halogen name + ic
|HCl ||hydrochloric acid|
|HF ||hydrofluoric acid|
- OxoAcids: polyatomic ion + acid.
- Recognize as polyatomic ions with a hydrogen at the beginning of the formula.
- Name with -ous and -ic suffix. (Works just like -ite and -ate suffix)
- -ic suffix is for acid with more oxygen atoms.
|Formula ||Name ||Source|
|HNO3||nitric acid||nitric from nitrate||HNO2||nitrous acid||nitrous from nitrite|
Please send comments or suggestions to email@example.com
Scott Van Bramer
Department of Chemistry
Chester, PA 19013
© copyright 1996, S.E. Van Bramer
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 08, 1999 12:35:50 PM