Chemical Nomenclature

This problem set was developed by AKYU

The following outline is to help you decide how to name a chemical compound. Use it as a flow chart to break down the different systems of naming to determine the name of a compound.

Formulas and Names of Binary Metal-Nonmetal Compounds

  1. The name of the metal is first (ie: NaCl, sodium chloride)
  2. The name of the nonmetal has -ide added (ie: NaCl sodium chloride)
  3. IF the metal has more than one possible charge
    1. With the Stock Method you must indicate which ion using the charge in roman numerals (ie: FeCl2 Iron (II) chloride).
    2. Alternatively the common name may be used if the metal has more than one possible ion. Here use the Latin root and then add -ous for the lower charge. -ic for the higher charge.
      1. FeCl2 ferrous chloride
      2. FeCl3 ferric chloride
    3. More examples showing the two different systems:
      Compound Stock Method Common Name
      FeF2 iron (II) fluoride ferrous fluoride
      FeF3 iron (III)fluoride ferric fluoride
      Hg2Br2 mercury (I) bromide mercurous bromide
      HgBr2 mercury (II) bromide mercuric bromide

Formulas and Names of Binary Nonmetal-Nonmetal Compounds

  1. Systematic Nomenclature:
    1. For names start with element to the left side on the periodic table
    2. add -ide to the second element
    3. use Greek prefixes for number of atoms: mono, di, tri, tetra, penta, hexa, hepta, octa, nona, deca
    4. Example:
      1. CO carbon monoxide
      2. CO2 carbon dioxide
      3. N2O5 dinitrogen pentoxide
  2. Common names: -ous and -ic (-ic has greater charge, OR has fewer atoms). Examples:
    Formula Systematic Name Common Name
    NO nitrogen monoxide nitric oxide
    N2O dinitrogen monoxide nitrous oxide
    NO2 nitrogen dioxide nitrogen peroxide
    N2O5 dinitrogen pentoxide nitric anhydride
    N2O3 dinitrogen trioxide nitrous anhydride

Polyatomic Compounds.

  1. Names of Polyatomic Ions
    1. Anions are negative, Cations are positive
    2. ammonium ion NH41+
    3. -ide ions
      1. CN1- cyanide
      2. OH1- hydroxide
    4. Oxyanions
      1. -ate ate more oxygen.
        Formula Name
        NO21- nitrite
        NO31- nitrate
      2. Sometimes oxyanions have an extra hydrogen
        Formula Name
        SO42- sulfate
        HSO41- hydrogen sulfate (or bisulfate)
      3. If more than two possibilities:
        Formula Name
        ClO1- hypochlorite
        ClO21- chlorite
        ClO31- chlorate
        ClO41- perchlorate
  2. Naming compounds with polyatomic ions
    1. Positive charge species on left (using Stock method or common name)
    2. Negative charge species on right (using name of polyatomic ion)
    3. Use parentheses as needed
      Formula Ions Name
      BaSO4 Ba2+ and SO42- barium sulfate
      Ca(NO3)2 Ca+2 and NO31- calcium nitrate
      Ca(NO2)2 Ca+2 and NO21- calcium nitrite
      Fe(NO3)2 Fe2+ and NO31- iron (II) nitrate or
      ferrous nitrate


  1. Hydro Acids: Hydro + halogen name + ic
    Formula Name
    HCl hydrochloric acid
    HF hydrofluoric acid
  2. OxoAcids: polyatomic ion + acid.
    1. Recognize as polyatomic ions with a hydrogen at the beginning of the formula.
    2. Name with -ous and -ic suffix. (Works just like -ite and -ate suffix)
    3. -ic suffix is for acid with more oxygen atoms.
    4. Examples
      Formula Name Source
      HNO3 nitric acid nitric from nitrate
      HNO2 nitrous acid nitrous from nitrite

Please send comments or suggestions to

Hints for solving Stoichiometry Problems

This document was developed by 

First the hamburger analogy

My recipe for a bacon double cheeseburger is:

  • 1 hamburger bun
  • 2 hamburger patties
  • 2 slices of cheese
  • 4 strips of bacon

Based on this recipe:

  1. If I have five bacon double cheeseburgers:
    1. How many hamburger buns do I have?
    2. How many hamburger patties do I have?
    3. How many slices of cheese do I have?
    4. How many strips of bacon do I have?
  2. How many bacon double cheeseburgers can you make if you start with:
    1. 1 bun, 2 patties, 2 slices of cheese, 4 strips of bacon
    2. 2 bun, 4 patties, 4 slices of cheese, 8 strips of bacon
    3. 1 dozen bun, 2 dozen patties, 2 dozen slices of cheese, 4 dozen strips of bacon
    4. 1 mole bun, 2 mole patties, 2 mole slices of cheese, 4 mole strips of bacon
    5. 10 bun, 20 patties, 2 slices of cheese, 40 strips of bacon
  3. If you had fixings for 100 bacon double cheeseburgers, but when you were cooking you ruined 10 of them. What percentage of the bacon double cheeseburgers do you actually make?

Now, the chemistry problem.

NOTE: The math and the concepts are identical to the above example. The only difference is the recipe.

Here are two examples of chemical recipes:

  • Na+ + Cl -> NaCl
  • 1 mole of H2SO4 + 2 mole NaOH produce 1 mole Na2SO4 + 2 mole H2O

Based on the recipes above:

  1. If I have 1 mole of NaCl
    1. How many moles of sodium do I have?
    2. How many moles of Chloride do I have?
  2. If I want to make 5 moles of Na2SO4:
    1. How many moles of H2SO4 do I need?
    2. How many moles of NaOH do I need?
  3. How much Na2SO4 can I make if I have:
    1. 1 mole of H2SO4 and 2 mole of NaOH
    2. 10 mole of H2SO4 and 20 mole of NaOH
    3. 0.1 mole of H2SO4 and 0.2 mole of NaOH
    4. 1 mole of H2SO4 and 20 mole of NaOH
    5. 0.42 mole of H2SO4 and 0.65 mole of NaOH
    6. 5 grams of H2SO4 and 5 grams of NaOH

    Please send comments or suggestions to

1 Komentar

  1. bagus sangat menarik kami guru SMA Negeri 3 Mataram data dapat di amalkan.

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