Nomenclature of inorganic compounds

here’s an interesting link on how to read or explain certain prefixes and suffixes of chemical names

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IUPAC_nomenclature_of_inorganic_chemistry

An older system used prefixes and suffixes to indicate the oxidation number, according to the following scheme:

Oxidation state Cations and acids Anions
Lowest hypo- -ous hypo- -ite
-ous -ite
-ic -ate
per- -ic per- -ate
Highest hyper- -ic hyper- -ate

Thus the four oxyacids of chlorine are called hypochlorous acid (HOCl), chlorous acid (HOClO), chloric acid (HOClO2) and perchloric acid (HOClO3), and their respective conjugate bases are the hypochlorite, chlorite, chlorate and perchlorate ions. This system has partially fallen out of use, but survives in the common names of many chemical compounds: the modern literature contains few references to “ferric chloride” (instead calling it “iron(III) chloride”), but names like “potassium permanganate” (instead of “potassium manganate(VII)”) and “sulfuric acid” abound.

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Author: Kallia Katsampoxaki-Hodgetts

EAP/ESP lecturer and instructor Academic Writing Specialist School of Science and Engineering University of Crete Tel. (0030) 2810 545102 Office Γ301, Chemistry Department Panistimioupoli Vouton, Heraklion, Crete, 71003 https://twitter.com/kalliacrete

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