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Naming Molecules. Naming Binary Molecular Compounds. Binary molecular compounds consist of two elements combined together with a covalent bond. When Naming a Binary Compound. Follow these rules for naming a chemical formula:

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naming binary molecular compounds
Naming Binary Molecular Compounds

Binary molecular compounds consist of two elements combined together with a covalent bond.

when naming a binary compound
When Naming a Binary Compound
  • Follow these rules for naming a chemical formula:
    • The first element in the formula is always named first, using the entire element’s name.
    • The second element in the formula is named using the root of the element and adding the suffix –ide.
    • Prefixes are used to indicate the number of atoms of each type that are present in the compond.
below are common numerical prefixes
Below are common numerical prefixes

Please write these down and memorize them.

Note to avoid using the prefix mono on the first element.

Note: avoid awkward pronunciation by dropping the “O”.

formula and names of some covalent compounds
Formula and Names of Some Covalent Compounds

Formula Common Name Molecular Comp. Name

H2O Water dihydrogen monoxide

NH3 ammonia nitrogen trihydride

N2H4 Hydrazine dinitrogentetrahydride

N2O Nitrous oxide dinitrogen monoxide

NO nitric oxide nitrogen monoxide

naming acids
Naming Acids
  • Naming Binary Acids- contain hydrogen and another element. Typically written as Hydro(element or polyatomic ion)ic acid.
    • Hydrofluoric Acid (HF)
  • Naming Oxyacids- contains hydrogen and an oxyanion (things with oxygen).
    • Nitric Acid (HNO3)