Tutorials

Chemistry Prefixes

example of chemistry prefixes

Core Concepts

In this tutorial, you will be introduced to the different types of chemistry prefixes. You will also learn the basics of these chemistry prefixes and how they are applicable in the real world today! Lastly, you will be given different examples to practice with naming chem prefixes.

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This image is an example of naming compounds, which we will discuss later in this article.

Introduction to Chemistry Prefixes

Number of Atoms: Prefixes

1: mono

2: di

3: tri

4: tetra

5: penta

6: hexa

7: hepta

8: octa

9: nona

10: deca

The above diagram shows the 10 most basic chemistry prefixes for naming compounds. These chem prefixes can be used to name many different elements on the periodic table, which we will practice. This diagram is also an example of the 10 most basic greek prefixes that are used in chemistry. Greek prefixes and chemistry prefixes have the same naming system when it comes to naming chemical compounds. With a little bit of practice, naming compounds will become easier and easier! Don’t get frustrated with yourself if you don’t understand it right away.

Vocabulary of Chemistry Prefixes

Atom– the smallest unit of matter that forms a chemical element

Prefixes– the name that comes before the molecule

Compounds– something that is composed of two or more elements

Periodic table– a table of chemical elements that is arranged in order of atomic number

Oxidation State– a number assigned to an element that represents the number of electrons lost

Transition Metal– elements that have valence electrons in two shells, instead of one

Roman Numerals– tells you the charge and oxidation state of the transition metal ion

Element– a substance that cannot be broken down into simpler components

Molecular Compounds

A molecular compound consists of molecules whose formula represent the actual number of atoms bonded together in that molecule. Some examples of molecular compounds are water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2). These bonds that are formed are held together by a pair of atoms in the molecule.

Ionic Compounds

An ionic compound is a chemical compound held together by ionic bonding. These compounds are neutral overall. However, these compounds have many positively and negatively charged particles. Some examples of ionic compounds are sodium chloride (NaCl) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH).

Suffix In Chemistry

Explanation of Naming Compounds

The naming system is used by determining the number of atoms in the compound. For example, a compound that has 5 atoms would have the “penta” prefix. This system can be used with any type of compound in general chemistry. Once you have named your compound, you need to add an “ide” to the end of the second name in the compound. Lastly, some elements do not need a prefix added to them at all!

Rules of Naming

There are a few easy steps that you can use for chemistry prefixes. First, you need to determine the number of atoms that each element has on the periodic table. Next, you need to determine if you need to add roman numerals to your compounds. For example, the compound FeCl2 would be named iron (II) chloride. These roman numerals are used to balance out the charges on each individual element. Lastly, you need to determine if the compound needs prefixes or not. There are some elements that do not need prefixes at all when it comes to naming compounds. Once you learn these exceptions to this rule, naming compounds will be a breeze! Let’s do some examples and practice naming these chemical compounds!

Examples of Chemistry Prefixes

  1. CO= carbon monoxide. Each element, carbon and oxygen, has 1 atom. This means that you will use the prefix “mono.” Notice how there is not a “mono” prefix in front of carbon because carbon doesn’t need it. Next, you should add an “ide” to the end of the compound. Lastly, the full name of this compound would be carbon monoxide.

2. SO2= sulfur dioxide. In this example, sulfur has 1 atom and oxygen has 2 atoms. This means that we will use the prefix “di” for oxygen. Notice how there is no “mono” prefix in front of sulfur because sulfur doesn’t need one! Next, add on an “ide” to the end of oxygen. Once all of these steps are completed, the final name for this compound will be sulfur dioxide.

Try these next 3 examples on your own to see how you do with naming compounds!

3. N2O= dinitrogen monoxide

4. N2O5= dinitrogen pentoxide

5. SnF4= tin (IV) flouride

Applications of Chemistry Prefixes

You use a variety of different compounds in every day life! There is chemistry all around us every day, even if we don’t see it. Visit this website if you would like to learn more about how we use compounds every day! https://studiousguy.com/compounds-we-use-in-everyday-life/