The name of the cation is the first word in the name of an ionic compound. This is a convention that people have just decided to use for some reason, but it seems to work out OK.

Typically, the cation will be a metal ion. However, the ammonium ion (##NH_4+##) is a fairly common example of a cation that contains no metals.

The second word will be the name of the anion. This will be either a nonmetallic element or a group of atoms called a “polyatomic ion.” Because Wikipedia is super awesome, you can check out a big list of by visiting them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyatomic_ion

Here is a video which discusses how to name ternary ionic compounds.Video from: Noel Pauller



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