Organic Chemistry

Chemistry at your Fingertips! Naming Compounds Overview

This chapter is on naming Covalent and Ionic Compounds.  If I had to pick one individual concept that I struggled with in my first quarter of college chemistry, naming compounds would get the award. Chemistry Naming Compounds

We just covered a lot of material, so it’s now time to take a part of this section and just overview what we have learned.

Naming Compounds Overview

The first question is, can you tell an ionic compound versus a covalent compound?  Let’s find out by doing this sample problem.

Problem 6

Problem: Is CaO ionic or covalent?  After deciding, name the compound by the systematic naming method (learned in this chapter, review if you don’t know how to name).


Plan: We need to look at a periodic table in order to determine if the compound is ionic or covalent.  Remember that metal and a nonmetal make up an Ionic compound (a salt) and that a nonmetal and a nonmetal make up a covalent compound.  By looking at the periodic table, we see that Ca and O is a metal with a nonmetal.  Thus, this is an ionic compound.

Answer: CaO is an ionic compound and the systematic name for the compound is Calcium Oxide.

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Hopefully, you were able to distinguish the difference between a covalent and an ionic compound.  If not, you MUST learn this.  You cannot continue until you can distinguish the difference.  If that was easy, good job!  Let’s name another one:

Problem 7

Problem: Is SO2 ionic or covalent?  After deciding, name the compound by the systematic naming method (learned in this chapter, review if you don’t know how to name).


Plan: Just as above, we need to decide if this is ionic or covalent and then name it.

Answer: SO2 is covalent and is named Sulfur dioxide according to the covalent naming rules.

 

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