Humboldt State University ® Department of Chemistry

Richard A. Paselk


General Chemistry

Fall 2009

Exercise: Nomenclature

© R. Paselk 2008

Supplemental Study Modules


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Introduction to Naming; Atoms & Isotopes

Chemical Nomenclature

These exercises are organized into two types, 1) writing formulae and naming them given ions or molecules, and 2) writing formulae given chemical names.

Writing Formulae and Naming Compounds

Note that formulae are generally written with the elements ordered by electronegativity (roughly, elements on the left side of the Periodic table precede those on the right).

You should know about the Stock system of nomenclature for cations and ionic compounds.

Write the Formulae and names for the simplest compounds made from each of the following pairs of ions:

(Examples 1-10 are answered with explanations, a-j are provided for extra practice - answers only are given.)

    1. K+

    F-   a. Na+ OH-
    2. Al3+ S2-   b. Ga3+ PO43-
    3. NH4+ CN-   c. Cu2+ HCO3-
    4. Hg22+ C2H3O2-   d. Fe2+ CrO42-
    5. Pb2+ SO42-   e. Pb4+ NO3-
    6. Sn4+ Cr2O72-   f. Hg22+ I-
    7. H+ SO42-   g. H+ PO33-
    8. H+ ClO4-   h. H+ NO3-
    9. Cs+ NO2-   i. Rb+ OH-
    10. Ba2+ O22-   j. Sr2+ O2-

Answers for 1-10

Answers for a-j

Writing Formulae from Names

Note that you can guess the charge on most elemental ions based on their positions on the Periodic table.

Write the Formulae for the Binary Ionic Compounds:

    1. Sodium chloride
    2. Calcium chloride
    3. Aluminum sulfide
    4. Magnesium iodide
    5. Potassium phosphide
    6. Zinc oxide
    7. Galium selenide
    8. Iron(II) nitride
    9. Lead(IV) phosphide
    10. Mercury(II) selenide
    11. Mercury(I) sulfide
    12. Tin(II) fluoride


In addition to these exercises you should familiarize yourself with the text materials and with the Department web pages linked below.

Go to Reflection Questions

© R A Paselk

Last modified 10 September 2009