The names given to chemical compounds follow some general rules. We will look at some basic rules.
Naming Ionic Compounds
1. When naming an ionic compound, the metallic element comes before the non-metallic element and the non-metallic element ends with “ide”
The following table shows some examples:
Elements in an ionic compound
2. In an ionic compound which contains a transition metal, a Roman numeral in a bracket is generally assigned to indicate the valency.
Iron(II) oxide and iron(III) oxide
Copper(I) oxide and copper(II) oxide
Lead(II) oxide and lead(IV) oxide
3. A polyatomic ion will not change its name after combining with other elements
Naming covalent compounds
When naming a covalent compound, the name of the first element is unchanged, the name of the second element ends with “ide” and if necessary, a prefix is used for the second element to indicate the number of atoms involved.
Carbon with one oxygen atom – carbon monoxide (CO)
Carbon with two oxygen atoms – carbon dioxide (CO2)
Sulfur with three oxygen atoms – sulfur trioxide (SO3)
Carbon with four chlorine atoms – carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)
Certain covalent compounds have “common” names.
Water – H2O
Ammonia - NH3
Name the following substances:
a) Magnesium Chloride
b) Iron(III) Carbonate
c) Ammonium Hydroxide
The following videos show the naming of some compounds
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