MHS Chemistry
Nomenclature Flow Chart 01
Naming Compounds

These eight steps will allow you to properly name every compound except organic compounds (which we'll get to another day) and acids (which we'll also get to another day). Each step is shown for three examples.

    BaCl2 Fe2S3 N2O5
1. Write down the name of the positive ion ("cation"). barium iron nitrogen
2. Write down the name of the negative ion ("anion"). barium chloride iron sulfide nitrogen oxide
3. Check the periodic table.  If the cation is has only one possible oxidation number, STOP! barium chloride (keep going) (keep going)
4. Look up the charge of the anion.   2– 2–
5. Multiply the anion charge by the anion subscript to get the total negative charge.   (2-)x(3) = 6– (2-)x(5) = 10–
6. The total positive charge is opposite the total negative charge.   6+ 10+
7. Divide the total positive charge by the cation subscript to get the positive charge on each cation.   (6+)÷2 = 3+ (10+)÷2 = 5+
8. Write the charge for each cation atom in roman numerals in parentheses.   iron (III) sulfide nitrogen (V) oxide

That wasn't so bad, was it?

[Formulas from Names][Nomenclature Note Sheet][MHS Chem page]