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Naming Compounds. What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (II, ii). Background: valences and formulas. We can determine the formula of a compound by completing Lewis diagrams or via “valence”

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naming compounds

Naming Compounds

What's in a name? That which we call a roseBy any other name would smell as sweet." - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (II, ii)

background valences and formulas
Background: valences and formulas
  • We can determine the formula of a compound by completing Lewis diagrams or via “valence”
  • Valence is “the number of electrons an atom must gain, lose, or share to complete its octet”
  • For representative elements valence starts at 1 (IA), climbs to 4 (IVA) and falls back to 1 (VIIA)
  • By knowing the valence of elements you can determine the formula of compounds
  • E.g. what compound would form from C + S?

Step 1 - write valences: C4S2

Step 2 - cross down valences: C2S4






CuO or Cu2O

Step 3 - simplify formula: CS2

a) Al,Br b) K,S c) Zn,O d) Mg,N e) C,Cl f) Cu,O

ionic compounds metal with 1 valence
Ionic compounds (metal with 1 valence)

Rules for naming

  • Names end in -ide. Example: sodium chloride
  • Metal (+ve ion) comes 1st (not chorine sodide)
  • Use the group valence for nonmetals
  • Do not capitalize unless starting a sentence

Give formulae & name: Ca + I, O + Mg, Na + S

= Ca2I1 = CaI2 = calcium iodide

= Mg2O2 = MgO = magnesium oxide

= Na1S2 = Na2S = sodium sulfide

multiple valence iupac naming
Multiple valence: IUPAC naming
  • Name ends in -ide, positive/metal comes first
  • The valence of the metal is indicated in brackets using roman numerals
  • E.g. Cu1 is copper(I), Cu2 is copper(II)
  • Numbers refer to valences not to #s of atoms
  • Try: Cu2+Cl, Zn2 + Cl, Co2+Cl, Hg+S (do both)

Cu2+Cl = Cu2Cl1 = CuCl2 = copper(II) chloride

Zn2+Cl = Zn2Cl1 = ZnCl2 = zinc chloride

Co2+Cl = Co2Cl1 = CoCl2 = cobalt(II) chloride

Hg+S = Hg1S2 = Hg2S = mercury(I) sulfide

Hg+S = Hg2S2 = HgS = mercury(II) sulfide

compounds containing polyatomic ions

So far we have given valences to single atoms

  • Li + O
Compounds containing polyatomic ions

Li1O2 Li2O

  • Groups of atoms can also have valences
  • “Polyatomic ions” are groups of atoms that interact as a single unit. For valence see p95.
  • E.g.OH1,(SO4)2. Ba3(PO4)2 =

barium phosphate

  • Naming compounds with polyatomic ions is similar to naming other ionic compounds
  • Youshouldnotethatcompoundswithpolyatomic ions have names ending in -ate or -ite not -ide
  • Note that most are negative, except ammonium
  • Name: Ca(OH)2, CuSO4, NH4NO3, Co2(CO3)3
compounds containing polyatomic ions1
Compounds containing polyatomic ions





- calcium hydroxide

- copper(II) sulfate

- ammonium nitrate

- cobalt(III) carbonate

naming covalent compounds
Naming covalent compounds
  • prefixrefersto#ofatoms-notvalence
  • N2O4 = dinitrogen tetroxide
  • Exception:dropmonoforfirstelement
  • CO2 = carbon dioxide
  • The first vowel is often dropped to avoid the combination of “ao” or “oo”.
  • CO=carbonmonoxide(monooxide)
  • -ide ending, each element has “prefix”

P4O10= tetraphosphorus decoxide

SO2= sulfur dioxide (doxide)

  • Name: CCl4, P2O3,IF7
write and name the following covalent compounds iupac
Write and name the following covalent compounds (IUPAC)

carbon tetrachloride

diphosporus trioxide

iodine heptafluoride




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