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There are four classifications of

compounds for inorganic naming:
1. Ionic - main group metals
2. Ionic - transition metal
3. Covalent
4. Acids

Rules for naming Ionic compounds

Cation name + Anion name

Cation name = element name + ion (ex: Sodium ion)

Monatomic anions arecharged usually nonmetals


Polyatomic anions:

namedby dropping the end of the element name and adding "ide."(ex:
The name of the ion stays the same (ex: sulfate)

You drop the word ion in the cation and anion to make the compound name


Na+ "sodium ion"+ Cl- "Chloride ion" "sodium chloride

Al+3 "aluminum ion" + CO3-2 "Carbonate" "aluminum

Something to Note
Charges are usually written +X
Oxidation states are written as X-

Determining Ion Charge

Determining Ion Charge

Polyatomic Ion Charges

Memorizing Polyatomic Ions

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Song

Oh there's sulfate and phosphate with four oxygen, chlorate and carbonate with
oxygen of three, but there is one that is different from all of these, it's the acetate
ion you see!
Sulfate is S O 4 minus 2, phosphate is P O 4 minus 3, these bond with oxygen in
fours ending in at A T E.
Nitrate is N O 3 minus 1, carbonate's about the same, it has a charge of minus 2,
it's found in soda pop, yummy!
Then along comes acetate, found in vinegar, C 2 H 3 O 2, it has a change of minus 1
Polyatomic ions, the ones we use most frequently, bonding with lots of oxygen,
ending in an A T E!

Memorizing the Polyatomic Ions





Rules: Main group metals vs transition


Main group metals charges of the metal are never shown; it is always trusted

Transition metal charges must be shown with roman numerals

The roman numeral is shown in parentheses after the metal ion name

To determine the roman numeral, look to the cation the anion is paired with

CoBr2 cobalt (II) bromide

Cobalt must have a charge of +2 since there are two bromide ions, each with a charge of -1

Transition metal: name to formula

To write the formula for a compound with a transition metal:

Write in the symbol and charge for the stated transition metal and the

Crisscross to form a neutral compound. (superscripts go to subscripts)

Simplify if possible!

Nickel(II) phosphate = Ni+2and PO4-3= Ni3(PO4)2

Transition metal: formula to name

Rule: common charge on the nonmetal (the anion) will never change, even though the oxidation
states of the nonmetals within the polyatomic ions do.
So if the total of the negative charges are added up, the total of the positive charges must be the

So the name would be Iron (III) oxide

Rules for naming covalent bonds

Incorporate prefixes to identify the number of elements

Prefix is used on both cation and anion

Mono is never used with the cation

The anion has the -ide ending


1 - mono 5 - penta 9 - nona

2 - di 6 - hexa 10 - deca
3 - tri 7 - hepta
4 - tetra 8 - octa

COcarbon monoxide
N2O5 dinitrogen pentaoxide
P6Cl8 hexaphosphorus octachloride

Rules for naming acids

If the name of anion ends in -ide

Acid name begins with prefix hydro-

The stem of the anion has the suffix -ic

Ex: Chloride Cl- ion HCl hydrochloric acid

HF: hydrofluoric acid
HBr: hydrobromic acid

Rules for naming acids

If the name of the anion ends in -ate

Stem of anion has suffix -ic

Followed by the word acid

Ex: Chlorate ion ClO3- HClO3 Chloric acid

HClO4: Perchloric Acid
H3PO4: Phosphoric Acid

If the name of the anion ends in -ite

Stem of the anion has the suffix -ous

Followed by word acid

Ex: Chlorite ion ClO2- HClO2 Chlorous acid

HNO2: Nitrous acid
H2SO3: Sulfurous acid

Naming Acids

Four to memorize/remember

HCl = hydrchloric acid

HNO3 = nitric acid
H2SO4 = sulfuric acid
H3PO4 = phosphoric acid

Naming Bases

Strong bases

Most contain hydroxide (polyatomic ion)

Follow rules for naming ionic compounds

Weak bases

If the base is made of ionic compounds ionic naming system

If the base has covalent bonds (made of molecular or organic compounds) follow
either the covalent naming system or IUPAC naming system of organic compounds

Some weak bases have common names

Ex: NH3 is ammonia


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