To practice naming ionic compounds click here

To practice naming molecular compounds click here

IUPAC Nomenclature
I. Ionic compounds (contain metal or ammonium ion)
Monatomic Ions
+1
+2
+3
group 1 (e.g. Na+)
group 2 (e.g. Mg2+)
Al3+
-1
-2
-3
group 17 (e.g. Cl-)
group 16 (e.g. O2-)
group 15 (e.g. N3-)
Most transition metals can obtain several different positive charges.  The charge in each particular case should be specified using Roman numerals enclosed by parentheses, e.g. iron (III) ion = Fe3+.  A few transition metals, however, can only obtain one positive charge, e.g. silver ion = Ag+ and zinc ion = Zn2+ (remember these!), so the charge will not be specified in Roman numerals.
  • The ionic compound must be balanced so that the empirical formula is neutral
  • First give the name of the cation (+) and then the name of the anion(-)
  • Some examples

    ammonium sulfate:  (NH4)2SO4         sodium phosphate:  Na3PO4

         cobalt (III) sulfate:  Co2(SO4)      calcium nitride:  Ca3N2

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II. Binary Molecular (Covalent) Compounds:  nonmetal + nonmetal

  • List the compounds using prefixes tell number of atoms

mono = 1     di = 2     tri = 3     tetra = 4     penta = 5     hexa = 6

  • Some examples
  • dinitrogen pentoxide:  N2O5                *phosphorus triiodide:  PI3

* "mono" is omitted for the first element

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