What Are the Steps in Naming Binary Ionic Compounds?


Quick Answer

The steps for naming a binary ionic compound include identifying the different ions, listing them in the appropriate order and altering the suffix of the second element. A binary ionic compound is a compound that includes two different elements.

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Full Answer

  1. Identify the two elements in the compound

    The name of the two elements in a binary ionic compound may be found by searching the periodic table of elements for the symbols contained in the formula.

  2. Identify the type of ion

    Each binary ionic compound is made up of one anion and one cation. A cation is an ion with a positive charge, while the anion is the element with a negative charge. Identify each ion in the compound based on the rule that the metal is the cation, and the nonmetal is the anion.

  3. Determine the order of the elements

    According to the rules of naming a binary ionic compound, list the cation first, followed by the anion.

  4. Alter the name of the nonmetal

    Add the suffix "-ide" to the elemental name of the nonmetal, which is the anion listed second in the name. For example, oxygen becomes oxide, nitrogen becomes nitride and chlorine becomes chloride. The name of the element listed first should be identical to its name listed on the periodic table.

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