Present Name Symbol Former Name
Antimony Sb Stibium
Copper Cu Cuprum
Gold Au Aurum
Iron Fe Ferrum
Lead Pb Plumbum
Potassium K Kalium
Silver Ag Argentum
Sodium Na Natrium
Tin Sn Stanum
Tungsten W Wolfram
The names of inorganic compounds are constructed so that every compound can be named from its formula and each formula has a name unique to that formula. For the purpose of clarity, we will divide the formulas into the following categories:
1) Binary compounds of nonmetals (covalent molecules)
2) Binary compounds of a metal and nonmetal (ionic compounds)
3) Ternary and higher compounds (polyatomic ions and acids)
I. Binary Covalent Compounds: two nonmetals
1. Name first element, preceded by Greek prefix for number of atoms. If one, omit mono.
2. Name the second element, preceded by Greek prefix for number of atoms even if one.
The ending of the second element is -ide.
Greek Prefixes: 1 = mono 2 = di 3 = tri 4 = tetra 5 = penta
PCl3 Phosphorous trichloride
SO2 Sulfur dioxide
CO Carbon monoxide