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Basic concepts in Nomenclature of Chemical Compounds:



Atoms have a tendency to form chemical bonds with other atoms to get the Noble gas configuration. It provides stability to atoms. Compounds are the chemical species which are formed by chemical bonding of various atoms.  Some common examples of compounds are HCl, HI etc.

Organic and Inorganic compounds:

The chemical compounds which are mainly composed of C and H atoms along with certain heteroatoms are called organic compounds. Hydrocarbons are one of the simplest and well known organic compounds. Inorganic compounds are mainly composed of non-metals excluding C. Although ionic compounds are also inorganic compounds only.

IUPAC naming of organic compounds:


International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry suggested certain rules for the naming of all known organic and inorganic compounds. The rules for naming of organic compounds are:


  • Longest carbon chain as the parent chain in the given organic First assigns the compounds.


  • Assign the numbering to all carbon atoms with the least possible numbers to side chains and functional groups.


  • In the IUPAC name, parts are- Prefix  + Root word + Suffix 


  • Here the root name represents the number of carbon atoms in the parent chain of the molecule.


  • The prefix in the name always indicates the side chains and certain functional groups like nitro-, halogen etc.


  • Suffix can be two types mainly; primary and secondary suffix. Here primary suffix indicates the single, double and triple bond in the molecule. Hence they can be –ane, -ene and –yne whereas the  secondary suffixes are for functional groups.


Examples of organic compounds:




In the given compound, the longest chain contains 10 C atoms with 5 side chains bonded on the parent longest chain. The side chains must be written in alphabetic order along with their position as numeral value separated by comma.

Naming of inorganic compounds:

In the naming of inorganic compounds; ionic and covalent compounds, the name of ionic compounds is combination of cation followed by name of anion with some suffix like –ide, -ate etc. In the naming of covalent compounds, the name of the element must be written with a prefix ( numbers of atoms).

Examples of inorganic compounds:

Br^2O^3  must be Dibromine trioxide as there are two Br atoms and three oxide ions. Another example is MnSO4 that must be Manganese(II) sulfate. Since it is an ionic compound therefore no prefix of cation and anion must be added. Here Mn is a transition metal and can show variable valency therefore the oxidation state of Mn that is 2+ must be shown in parenthesis in Roman numeral.



Sample Nomenclature of Chemical Compounds Problems:


Q. 1 What is the correct name of Cs^2SO^4?

(a) Cesium (I) sulphate 

(b) Cesium (II) sulphate

(c) Dicesium sulphate

(d) Cesium sulphate

Answer: (d)

In the given formula, Cs is an alkali metal and S is non-metal therefore it must be an ionic compound so no oxidation number must be written in parenthesis. Thus, the name of the compound must be Cesium sulphate. 


Q. 2 Write the IUPAC name of the given organic compound.

(a) 4-methylpentanoyl chloride

(b) 2-methylpentanoyl chloride

(c) 4-methylbutanoyl chloride

(d) 2-methylbutanoyl chloride

Answer: (a)

In the given stricture the longest chain has 5 C atoms with -COCl as functional group and one methyl group as side chain. The functional group must get the least number thus, it should be 4-methylpentanoyl chloride. 


Q. 3 Identify the root word, primary suffix, secondary suffix and prefix in the given organic compound.


  • Root word = 7 C atoms = Hapt
  • Primary suffix = -ane ( as C atoms are bonded with each other with single covalent bonds)
  • Prefix = Ethyl group at C-4
  • Secondary suffix = No secondary suffix as no functional group.


Avail homework help to configure basic rules in naming compounds


Take homework guidance from qualified solvers to get Chemistry assistance on the nomenclature of chemical compounds. We’ll instruct you on a whole lot of rules that are involved in this practice.


Whether you are in high school or a College-freshman, we’ll provide you step-by-step explanations as manuals for reference. If there is more than one functional group, prefixes like di, tri, tetra must be used to show their numbers bonded on the parent chain.


On the other hand, most covalent compounds without metals like carbon monoxide have two words in a name or a suffix. So you’ll have Carbon dioxide, carbon tetrachloride here.


We are the best study resource to delve into the examples to understand the naming process and rules. 


Let’s also examine why when it comes to complex compounds there are no particular set of guidelines. In fact, we’ll figure out why the trivial nomenclature system is limited and several other names can also exist for one specific compound.


So seek our top chemistry experts to solve worksheet questions or get detailed analysis on the longest chain rule; naming of different substituents and the lowest set of locants; etc.


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