Chemical formulas are named based on the number and type of atoms in the chemical. In chemical formulas of two atoms with opposite charges, the first element is a metal and the second is a non-metal. The chemical's name is the name of the metal and the name of the non-metal, with the non-metal's name ending in the "-ide" suffix, according to Fernbank Science Center. For example, the combination of sodium and chlorine is called "sodium chloride."
Organic compounds, which contain carbon and hydrogen, are named based on the number of carbons and the type of carbon-carbon bonds in the compound. For example, compounds that have one carbon have the prefix "meth-," those with two carbons start with "eth-" and those with three compounds start with
Organic compounds with carbon-carbon single bonds have the suffix of "-ane." Chemicals with a carbon-carbon double bound end in "-ene" and compounds with a carbon-carbon triple bond end in "-yne," says Chem Guide. For example, the chemical with the formula C3H8 is named "propane" because it has three carbons and contains only single bonds. Organic compounds with an oxygen-hydrogen group attached are called alcohols and use the "-ol" suffix, according to Chem Guide.