Flexi Says: When examining the formula of a compound in order to name it, you must first decide what kind of compound it is. For a binary ionic compound, a metal will always be the first element in the formula, while a nonmetal will always be the second. The metal cation is named first, followed by the nonmetal anion. The non-metallic part of the compound is named by dropping the end of the element and adding –ide. Subscripts in the formula do not affect the name. For example, KF is potassium fluoride.