Analía Bellizzi – Chemistry Classes

Ronald Reagan Senior High School

Nomenclature Inorganic Notes


Ionic compounds can be classified as IONIC or COVALENT


Binary Ionic Compounds (only 2 elements form the compound)

  • Basic Oxides = Metal + Oxygen → Name: Metal(ox#) Oxide 
  • Most of these oxides react with water to produce hydroxides
  • Peroxides = Metals + Oxygen → Name: Metal(ox#) Peroxide 
  • Many peroxides decompose releasing hydrogen gas. 
  • Binary Salts = Metal + Non-metal → Name: Metal(ox#) Non-Metal-IDE

More complex Ionic Compounds (More than 2 elements form the compound) Most of the time one or 2 polyatomic ions are involved. 

  • Oxo- Salts = Metal + polyatomic ion →Name: Metal(ox#) Polyatomic ion
  • Ammonium- Salts (I)= Ammonium + Non Metal →Name: Ammonium Non-Metal-IDE 
  • Ammonium- Salts (II)= Ammonium + Polyatomic Ion →Name: Ammonium Polyatomic Ion Name 


Binary Covalent Compounds (only 2 elements form the compound)

  • Covalent compounds use prefixes in both names
  • Format: PREFIXelement1  PREFIXelement2IDE
    1. Mono (never used in the first name)
    2. Di
    3. Tri
    4. Tetra
    5. Penta
    6. Hexa
    7. Hepta
    8. Octa
    9. Nona
    10. Deca
  • Name the non-metal furthest to the left on the periodic table by its elemental name with the prefix if different than 1
  • Name the second non-metal by its elemental name with the prefix and  the suffix “ide” at the end.
  • The element at the end is always the most electronegative of both. 
  • General Binary Compounds = Non-metal + Non-Metal→ Name: Prefix-element1  Prefix-element2-ide
    • These compounds do not have oxygen or hydrogen
  • Acidic Oxides  = Non-metal + Oxygen → Name: Prefix-element1 Prefix-oxide
    • These oxides react with water to produce Oxo-acids

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