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A chemical compound is a mixture of two or more elements. In order to properly name a chemical compound, you must first identify the elements that are present in it. This is typically done by using a chemical formula or by observing the physical and chemical properties of the compound. Once you have identified the elements, you must then determine their ratio. This is accomplished by using prefixes and suffixes to indicate the elemental ratio. Examples of mg2c compound name include sulfur hexafluoride, potassium permanganate and carbon dioxide.

Compounds that contain metal ions typically begin with the name of the metal. However, certain metals (those found in groups one and two of the periodic table) can form cations with different charges. To avoid ambiguity, the charge of the cation is indicated by placing a roman numeral in parentheses after the metal name. For example, iron may form the ion Fe2+ or Fe3+. The compounds therefore become unambiguously named iron(II) chloride and iron(III) chloride, respectively.

Many nonmetallic elements can form monoatomic ions. To distinguish a compound containing these from other compounds, the name of the compound usually contains the elemental name followed by -ide or -ic. The -ide ending is also used when the compound contains an ion with a neutral charge, such as sulfate SO42- or oxides O2 and CO2. For example, SO42- becomes sodium hydroxide while HCO3- is known as carbonic acid. However, some nonmetallic ions have polyatomic charges. These are identified by changing the -ide ending to -yl or -ic, such as in methyl acetylene or propadiene.

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