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Naming Binary Ionic Compounds

Rules for naming monatomic metal and nonmetal ions

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Hello My Name Is...

The Name’s Compound... Ionic Compound!

Remember how molecular formula shows the number of atoms in each element the molecule contains. For example, nitrogen monoxide is NO. The formula has all of the information about the parts of the compound. From the above example you can tell that nitrogen monoxide has 1 nitrogen and one oxygen.

Credit: wikimedia
Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/Hello_my_name_is_sticker.svg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0


How do we name it though? Just as when naming a baby, there are certain criteria you must follow to come up with an appropriate name. You need to use the alphabet, and have a certain amount of vowels. Similarly, naming binary ionic compounds is similar.

  1. First you must find the name of the first element.
  2. Then you must find the name of the last element.
  3. You need to replace the ending with an -ide.

For example:

KF - Potassium flouride

Na3N - Sodium nitride

Ca3P- Calcium phosphide

Creative Application:

1. Write the formula for sodium sulfide?

2. What is the name of C2O3?

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  1. [1]^ Credit: wikimedia; Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/Hello_my_name_is_sticker.svg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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