Generally, there are two species of inorganic compounds that deserve to be formed: ionic compounds and also molecular compounds. Nomenclature is the process of naming moment-g.comical compounds with various names so that they can be easily determined as separate moment-g.comicals. Inorganic compounds room compounds that perform not address the development of carbohydrates, or just all other compounds that execute not fit right into the summary of an necessary compound. Because that example, essential compounds include molecules v carbon rings and/or chains with hydrogen atom (see snapshot below). Not natural compounds, the subject of this section, space every other molecule that does not include these distinctive carbon and hydrogen structures.

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Compounds in between Metals and also Nonmetals (Cation and Anion)

Compounds made of a metal and nonmetal are frequently known together Ionic Compounds, whereby the compound name has actually an finishing of –ide. Cations have actually positive charges while anions have an unfavorable charges. The net charge of any kind of ionic compound have to be zero i m sorry also means it should be electrically neutral. Because that example, one Na+ is paired through one Cl-; one Ca2+ is paired v two Br-. There room two rule that have to be followed through:

The cation (metal) is constantly named very first with the name unmodified The anion (nonmetal) is created after the cation, modification to end in –ide Table 1: Cations and Anions: +1 Charge+2 Charge-1 Charge-2 Charge-3 Charge-4 Charge
Group 1A elements Group 2A elements Group 7A elements Group 6A elements Group 5A elements Group 4A elements
Hydrogen: H+ Beryllium: Be2+ Hydride: H- Oxide: O2- Nitride: N3- Carbide: C4-
Lithium: Li+ Magnesium: Mg2+ Fluoride: F- Sulfide: S2- Phosphide: P3-
Soduim: Na+ Calcium: Ca2+ Chloride: Cl-
Potassium: K+ Strontium: Sr2+ Bromide: Br-
Rubidium: Rb+ Barium: Ba2+ Iodide: I-
Cesium: Cs+

Example 1

Na+ + Cl- = NaCl; Ca2+ + 2Br- = CaBr2

Sodium + Chlorine = sodium Chloride; Calcium + Bromine = Calcium Bromide

The transition metals may kind more 보다 one ion, therefore it is essential to be specified which details ion we are talking about. This is indicated by assigning a Roman numeral after the metal. The Roman numeral denotes the charge and also the oxidation state of the transition metal ion. Because that example, stole can type two common ions, Fe2+ and Fe3+. To differentiate the difference, Fe2+ would be named iron (II) and Fe3+ would certainly be named iron (III).

Table of transition Metal and also Metal Cations: +1 Charge+2 Charge+3 Charge+4 Charge
Copper(I): Cu+ Copper(II): Cu2+ Aluminum: Al3+ Lead(IV): Pb4+
Silver: Ag+ Iron(II): Fe2+ Iron(III): Fe3+ Tin(IV): Sn4+
Cobalt(II): Co2+ Cobalt(III): Co3+
Tin(II): Sn2+
Lead(II): Pb2+
Nickel: Ni2+
Zinc: Zn2+

Example 2

Ions: Fe2++ 2Cl- Fe3++ 3Cl-
Compound: FeCl2 FeCl3
Nomenclature Iron (II) Chloride Iron (III) Chloride

However, some of the change metals" charges have particular Latin names. Just like the other nomenclature rules, the ion of the shift metal that has actually the reduced charge has the Latin name ending with -ous and the one with the the greater charge has actually a Latin name ending with -ic. The most typical ones are displayed in the table below:

Transition metal Ion v Roman NumeralLatin name
Copper (I): Cu+ Cuprous
Copper (II): Cu2+ Cupric
Iron (II): Fe2+ Ferrous
Iron (III): Fe3+ Ferric
Lead (II): Pb2+ Plumbous
Lead (IV): Pb4+ Plumbic
Mercury (I): Hg22+ Mercurous
Mercury (II): Hg2+ Mercuric
Tin (II): Sn2+ Stannous
Tin (IV): Sn4+ Stannic

Several exceptions use to the Roman numeral assignment: Aluminum, Zinc, and Silver. Although lock belong to the transition metal category, these steels do not have actually Roman numerals composed after your names due to the fact that these metals only exist in one ion. Rather of using Roman numerals, the different ions can also be gift in level words. The metal is adjusted to finish in –ous or –ic.

-ic ending is offered for the higher oxidation state

Example 3

Compound Cu2O CuO FeCl2 FeCl3
Charge Charge that copper is +1 Charge the copper is +2 Charge of steel is +2 Charge of iron is +3
Nomenclature Cuprous Oxide Cupric Oxide Ferrous Chloride Ferric Chloride

However, this -ous/-ic system is poor in part cases, so the roman numeral system is preferred. This device is used commonly in naming acids, where H2SO4 is commonly known as Sulfuric Acid, and H2SO3 is recognized as Sulfurous Acid.

Compounds in between Nonmetals and also Nonmetals

Compounds the consist that a nonmetal bonded to a nonmetal are typically known together Molecular Compounds, wherein the aspect with the positive oxidation state is written first. In numerous cases, nonmetals form more than one binary compound, therefore prefixes are offered to distinguish them.

# that Atoms12345678910
Prefixes Mono- Di- Tri- Tetra- Penta- Hexa- Hepta- Octa- Nona- Deca-

Example 4

CO = carbon monoxide BCl3 = borontrichloride

CO2 = carbon dioxide N2O5 =dinitrogen pentoxide

The prefix mono- is not supplied for the first element. If there is not a prefix prior to the first element, it is assumed that there is just one atom of that element.

Binary Acids

Although HF can be called hydrogen fluoride, the is provided a various name for emphasis that that is an acid. An mountain is a substance that dissociates into hydrogen ion (H+) and anions in water. A quick method to recognize acids is to watch if there is one H (denoting hydrogen) in former of the molecular formula of the compound. To surname acids, the prefix hydro- is placed in front of the nonmetal modified to end with –ic. The state of acids is aqueous (aq) because acids are found in water.

Some typical binary acids include:

HF (g) = hydrogen fluoride -> HF (aq) = hydrofluoric acid

HBr (g) = hydrogen bromide -> HBr (aq) = hydrobromic acid

HCl (g) = hydrogen chloride -> HCl (aq) = hydrochloric acid

H2S (g) = hydrogen sulfide -> H2S (aq) = hydrosulfuricacid

It is vital to encompass (aq) after the acids because the very same compounds have the right to be written in gas phase through hydrogen named very first followed by the anion ending with –ide.

Example 5

hypo____ite ____ite ____ate per____ate

ClO- ClO2- ClO3- ClO4-

hypochlorite chlorite chlorate perchlorate


As shown by the arrow, moving to the right, the adhering to trends occur:

Increasing number of oxygen atoms

Increasing oxidation state of the nonmetal

(Usage that this example can be checked out from the set of compound containing Cl and O)

This occurs since the number of oxygen atom are raising from hypochlorite to perchlorate, however the overall charge of the polyatomic ion is quiet -1. To appropriately specify how numerous oxygen atoms space in the ion, prefixes and also suffixes are again used.

Polyatomic Ions

In polyatomic ions, polyatomic (meaning 2 or more atoms) space joined with each other by covalent bonds. Although there may be a facet with optimistic charge favor H+, that is not joined with an additional element through an ionic bond. This occurs since if the atoms developed an ionic bond, then it would certainly have already become a compound, therefore not needing to acquire or loose any electrons. Polyatomic anions are more common 보다 polyatomic cations as displayed in the graph below. Polyatomic anions have an unfavorable charges if polyatomic cations have actually positive charges. Come indicate various polyatomic ions comprised of the exact same elements, the surname of the ion is modified according to the example below:

Table: common Polyatomic ion Name: Cation/Anion Formula
Ammonium ion NH4+
Hydronium ion


Acetate ion


Arsenate ion


Carbonate ion


Hypochlorite ion


Chlorite ion


Chlorate ion


Perchlorate ion


Chromate ion


Dichromate ion


Cyanide ion


Hydroxide ion


Nitrite ion


Nitrate ion


Oxalate ion


Permanganate ion


Phosphate ion


Sulfite ion


Sulfate ion


Thiocyanate ion

Thiosulfate ion


To integrate the subject of acids and also polyatomic ions, there is nomenclature that aqueous acids. Together acids encompass sulfuric acid (H2SO4) or carbonic acid (H2CO3). To surname them, follow this quick, basic rules:

If the ion end in -ate and also is included with an acid, the mountain name will have an -ic ending. Examples: nitrate ion (NO3-) + H+ (denoting development of acid) = nitric mountain (HNO3) If the ion end in -ite and also is included with one acid, climate the acid name will have an -ous ending. Example: nitite ion (NO2-) + H+ (denoting formation of acid) = nitrous acid (HNO2)


Pettrucci, Ralph H. General moment-g.comistry: ethics and modern Applications. 9th. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007 Nomenclature of not natural moment-g.comistry, recommendations 1990, Oxford:Blackwell clinical Publications. (1990) Biomoment-g.comical Nomenclature and also Related Documents, London:Portland Press, 1992.


1. What is the exactly formula because that Calcium Carbonate?

a. Ca+ + CO2-

b. CaCO2-

c. CaCO3

d. 2CaCO3

2. What is the correct name for FeO?

a. Iron oxide

b. Stole dioxide

c. Iron(III) oxide

d. Iron(II) oxide

3. What is the correct name for Al(NO3)3?

a. Aluminum nitrate

b. Aluminum(III) nitrate

c. Aluminum nitrite

d. Aluminum nitrogen trioxide

4. What is the correct formula of phosphorus trichloride?

a. P2Cl2

b. PCl3

c. PCl4

d. P4Cl2

5. What is the exactly formula of lithium perchlorate?

a. Li2ClO4

b. LiClO2

c. LiClO

d. No one of this

6. Create the correct surname for these compounds.

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a. BeC2O4:

b. NH4MnO4:

c. CoS2O3:

7. What is W(HSO4)5?

8. Just how do you create diphosphorus trioxide?

9. What is H3P?

10. By including oxygens come the molecule in number 9, us now have actually H3PO4? What is the surname of this molecule?


1.C; Calcium + lead carbonate --> Ca2+ + CO32- --> CaCO3

2.D; FeO --> Fe + O2- --> stole must have actually a charge of +2 to do a neutral link --> Fe2+ + O2- --> Iron(II) Oxide

3.A; Al(NO3)3 --> Al3+ + (NO3-)3 --> Aluminum nitrate

4.B; Phosphorus trichloride --> ns + 3Cl --> PCl3

5.D, LiClO4; Lithium perchlorate --> Li+ + ClO4- --> LiClO4

6. a. Beryllium Oxalate; BeC2O4 --> Be2+ + C2O42- --> Beryllium Oxalate

b. Ammonium Permanganate; NH4MnO4 --> NH4+ + MnO4- --> Ammonium Permanganate

c. Cobalt (II) Thiosulfate; CoS2O3 --> Co + S2O32- --> Cobalt must have actually +2 charge to make a neutral compund --> Co2+ + S2O32- --> Cobalt(II) Thiosulfate

7. Tungsten (V) hydrogen sulfate

8. P2O3

9. Hydrophosphoric Acid

10. Phosphoric Acid

Contributors and Attributions

Pui Yan Ho (UCD), Alex Moskaluk (UCD), Emily Nguyen (UCD)

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