Video segment. Assistance may be required. Watch this short video on how ionic compounds are formed.

Source: Ionic Compound Formation, lombards1, YouTube

Interactive exercise. Assistance may be required. Complete the following paragraph.

Why is nomenclature and formula writing so important?

Source: Their, They’re and There, Interactive ESL

Much like homophones, words that sound the same but have different spellings and meanings, different compounds have different formulas, names, and characteristics.

One example is water and hydrogen peroxide. They differ in one oxygen. Water is vital to our survival and hydrogen peroxide is poisonous if consumed.

Source: Water Bottle, Office Depot
Water 3D, Benjah-bmm27. Wikimedia Commons
Hydrogen Peroxide, Office
Hydrogen-peroxide-3D, Benjah-bmm27, Wikimedia Commons

In chemistry, it is necessary to have a set of naming rules to distinguish compounds and make sure the same language is spoken in terms of the chemical makeup. Scientists currently follow IUPAC naming rules for nomenclature.

In the next sections, you will learn more about naming the following three main types of ionic compounds: