Binary compound

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A binary compound is a compound that contains two different elements, such as NaCl (salt or Sodium Chloride). Another example is NaF (sodium fluoride). One other example is Magnesium Oxide (MgO).

Metals with variable valences

“Latin Method” Latin name of metal + “-ic” (For higher valence) / “-ous” (For lower valence) + Nonmetal + “-ide”

Binary Acids

“Hydro-” + Nonmetal + “-ic” + “acid”

There are only 10 existing non-metals that can be involved in binary acids when combined with hydrogen: chlorine, fluorine, bromine, iodine, and sulfur. it can also equal an "-ide"

Binary Covalent Compounds

Nonmetal + Nonmetal + "-ide".

Add the appropriate Latin prefix to each element name to denote the number of atoms of each element present in a molecule of the compound. This method is generally not used with ionic compounds(see below), . For example, K2O is usually not called dipotassium monoxide, it is simply potassium oxide. P4O6, however, would be tetraphosphorus hexoxide. Some elements beginning with vowels (Oxygen, for example) replace the vowel ending of its prefix; mono- + Oxide = Monoxide, O4 = Tetroxide, O5 = Pentoxide, and so on.

Binary Ionic Compounds

Cation + Anion + "ide" (if there is only one atom of the anion, as in Magnesium Sulfide, MgS)

If the anion is more than one atom of the same substance, either "ite" or "ate" is added at the end instead of "ide". "ite" is used when the anion is, "ate" if the anion is 3 or higher. Ex.: CaCl2 are common however... one being Iron(III) Oxide=Fe2O3.


Template:Inorganic-compound-stub If the compound is aqueous (aq) and begins with "H" then it can be read as hydro + ____ + ic acid. Example H2S is hydrosulfuric acid

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*Exception – If the first element is a single atom, do not write “mono”.
1 Mono- 3 Tri- 5 Penta- 7 Hepta- 9 Nona-
2 Di- 4 Tetra- 6 Hexa- 8 Octa- 10 Deca-

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