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Chemical Vocabulary for CHEM121

Lesson 1:
The elements on the extreme right of the periodic chart are the Noble Gases (Group VIIIA). They are
called Noble because they do not normally form compounds.

On the extreme left of the chart are the Alkali Metals (Group IA). These elements are also
called active metals because of their high degree of reactivity. Element #1 (Hydrogen) is
included in this group, but it is not a metal. The alkali metals are all solids (hydrogen is a
gas). In compounds, the alkali metals become cations (positive ions) with a charge
(oxidation number) of +1.

Group IA: Alkali Metals Group VIIIA: Noble Gases

symbol name symbol name
H Hydrogen* (is a non-metal) He Helium*
Li Lithium* Ne Neon*
Na Sodium* Ar Argon*
K Potassium* Kr Krypton*
Rb Rubidium Xe Xenon*
Cs Cesium Rn Radon*
Fr Francium

*denotes element you should know

Lesson 2:
The other group of active metals is the Alkaline Earth Metals, found in the 2nd column (Group IIA).
These elements are all solids. In compounds, these elements become cations with a charge of +2.

The group next to the noble gases is the Halogens (Group VIIA). Hydrogen is included in
this group on some charts. Hydrogen, fluorine and chlorine are gases, bromine is a liquid (one
of only 2 on the chartthe other is Mercury, Hg*), and iodine & astatine are solids.

Group IIA: Alkaline Group VIIA: Halogens

Earth Metals symbol name
symbol name H Hydrogen*
Be Beryllium* F Fluorine*
Mg Magnesium* Cl Chlorine*
Ca Calcium* Br Bromine*
Sr Strontium* I Iodine*
Ba Barium* At Astatine
Ra Radium*

All the elements in this group exist as homonuclear diatomic molecules: H2, F2, Cl2, Br2, I2.
Only the elements in air (Oxygen*, O2 and Nitrogen*, N2) do the same.

When the halogens form monatomic anions (negative ions), they have a charge of -1. The suffix -ide is used to
indicate when this is the case: fluoride, chloride, bromide, iodide.
Note: Hydrogen is +1 in the vast majority of its compounds; it can be a hydride only when combined with the
active metals.

Lesson 3:
Continuing from the left, the next tall column is: The Group VIA elements are:
Group IIIA symbol name
symbol name O Oxygen*
B Boron* S Sulfur*
Al Aluminum* Se Selenium
Ga Galium Te Tellurium
In Indium Po Polonium
Tl Thallium When these are the negative parts of 2-element
These have oxidation numbers of +3 when combined. (binary) compounds, they have an oxidation
number of -2.

Note the heavy stair-step line drawn between elements B & Al, etc. This line separates the metals (lower left) from
the non-metals (upper right).
Metals can only form cations.
Non-metals form anions when combined with metals.
Elements that touch the line are called metalloids (except Al, which is a metal).

Oxygen combines with all elements except Noble Gases. Oxygen usually forms the oxide (O2-) ion in compounds,
but also may form a homunuclear diatomic anion called peroxide (O22-) it does this only with active metals and

Chemical formulas are representations of a chemical species that identify the number and type of atoms that make
up a chemical unit (compound, ion, etc.). The formula includes symbols of each element and numerical subscripts
to show the number of each atom present. If only one atom is present, no subscript is used.
Formulas of binary salts: (two-element compounds formed from a metal and a non-metal) Remember that the
compound is neutral (the positive and negative charges must add up to zero). The symbol for the metal is listed
first and subscripts are used to indicate the number of ions (if more than 1). The name is that of the metal followed
by that of the non-metal with the -ide ending to indicate the homonuclear anion.
2+ -
Example: Ca and F -two fluoride ions are needed to combine with one calcium ion to give

CaF2 calcium fluoride

Writing formulas using the cross-charge method:
3+ 2-
Example: Al and O -the charge on the cation becomes the
subscript for the anion
Al2O3 aluminum oxide
Lesson 4
Group VA
symbol name
N Nitrogen*
P Phosphorus*
As Arsenic
Sb Antimony Group IVA
Bi Bismuth symbol name
The non-metals (N, P) in this group have a -3 charge C Carbon*
when they form monatomic anions. Si Silicon*
Ge Germanium
Other common metals that are monovalent: Sn Tin*
Ag Silver* is +1 in compounds Pb Lead*
Zn Zinc* is +2 in compounds These elements can have oxidation numbers from -4
Cd Cadmium* is +2 in compounds to +4
Lesson 5:
Type II Metals: Metals that form more than one cation (have multiple oxidation states)

Salts of metals that form more than one cation can be named:
1. By including the charge as a Roman numeral in parentheses (IUPAC nomenclature)*
Fe2+ iron(II) Fe3+ iron(III)
2. By using the suffixes -ous and -ic for the lower and higher oxidation states (common nomenclature)
Fe2+ ferrous Fe3+ ferric

You should know the following type II metal ions*:

Au+ gold(I)
Au3+ gold(III)
Cu+ copper(I)
Cu 2+
Hg2+ mercury(II)
Fe2+ iron(II)
Fe3+ iron(III)
Ni2+ nickel (II)
Ni3+ nickel(III) A few more transition metals to know*:
Pb 2+
lead(II) Co Cobalt
Pd Palladium
Pb4+ lead(IV)
Pt Platinum
Sn2+ tin(II)
U Uranium
Sn4+ tin(IV)

Elements to know: B C Ne
Si Ar
Cr Mn Co Kr
Pd Xe
Pt Rn

Lesson 6:
Polyatomic ions: (group of atoms with a charge)
formula name
OH- hydroxide
CN cyanide
NH4+ ammonium
[H3O hydronium is an ion we will learn about in the chapter on acids]
Note that parentheses may now be needed for subscripts: ammonium sulfide is (NH4)2S

Oxyanions: (anions made up from an atom covalently bonded to one or more oxygens) Compounds containing
these anions are named with the suffix -ate. When two oxyanions are possible, the one with fewer oxygens is
named -ite.
formula name formula ite
CO32- carbonate
NO3- nitrate NO2- nitrite
PO43- phosphate PO33- phosphite
SO4 sulfate SO32- sulfite

Some elements can form more than 2 oxyanions. For example, chlorine forms the following 4 oxyanions:
ClO- hypochorite (hypo = below)
ClO2- chlorite
ClO3- chlorate
ClO4- perchlorate (from hyper = above)

Some metals also form oxyanions:

MnO4- permanganate (also uses the per prefix)
CrO42- chromate
Cr2O72- dichromate
Mixed Salts: Some polyatomic ions (having a -2 or higher charge) can form a related ion in which a hydrogen (H+)
is attached to the anion, the charge becomes -1 and the prefix bi- is used.
formula name
HCO3- bicarbonate (or hydrogen carbonate)
HSO4 bisulfate (or hydrogen sulfate)
HSO3 bisulfite (or hydrogen sulfite)
HPO4 hydrogen phosphate
H2PO4- dihydrogen phosphate
Organic anions: C2H3O2 (or CH3COO-) acetate

Lesson 7:
Molecular vs. Ionic Compounds

Compounds may be divided into 2 general types:

1. Molecular (covalent) compounds are combinations of non-metals
2. Ionic (contains ions) includes:
Acids: anything giving H+ when dissolved in water
Bases: anything giving OH- when dissolved in water
Salts: all other ionic materials

Formulas of molecular/covalent compounds:

Non-metals can combine with other non-metals to form molecules. Molecules are covalently bonded groups of
atomsthey do not have a charge like polyatomic ions, but are neutral. Since more than one combination is
possible, the names must be more explicit. The number of atoms is given by a Greek prefix (mono-, di-, tri-, tetra-,
penta-, hexa-, hepta-, octa-, nona-, deca-).
example name Note: a prefix is not used if there is only one of the first
CO carbon monoxide element listed. Also, the prefix is usually omitted when H
CO2 carbon dioxide is the first element.
HF hydrogen fluoride
N2O5 dinitrogen pentoxide
*Know the Greek prefixes for 1-6
SF6 sulfur hexafluoride
H2S hydrogen sulfide
More on Hydrogen: BH3 borane*
Hydrogen compounds of the second period elements CH4 methane*
frequently have common names: NH3 ammonia*
H2O water*
H2O2 hydrogen peroxide*

Ionic Compounds: Molecular/Covalent Compounds:

-Crystalline array of cations/anions -Group of atoms joined by covalent bonds

methane is a molecular
NaCl is an
ionic compound

Lesson 8:
Binary Acids:
When some hydrogen-containing compounds are dissolved in water, an ionic substance, called an acid, is formed.
The name changes to hydro[nonmetal]ic acid for these binary acids.

HF(aq) hydrofluoric acid* Note that: HF(g) is hydrogen fluoride, but when it is
HCl(aq) hydrochloric acid* dissolved in water, it is called hydrofluoric acid HF(aq)
HBr(aq) hydrobromic acid*
HI(aq) hydroiodic acid* Also note:(aq) stands for aqueous solution
(s) stands for solid
(l) stands for liquid
(g) stands for gas

Ternary Acids:
Oxyacids are formed by combining an oxyanion with hydrogen as the cation (and dissolving it in water). They are
named by stating the name of the oxyanion, but changing -ate to -ic or changing -ite to -ous and adding
H3BO3(aq) boric acid
H2CO3(aq) carbonic acid*
HNO3(aq) nitric acid*
HNO2(aq) nitrous acid
H2SO4(aq) sulfuric acid* Organic Acids:
H3PO4(aq) phosphoric acid* HC2H3O2(aq) acetic acid*
HClO4(aq) perchloric acid*

Strong acids are acids that dissociate completely when dissolved in water. The 6 strong laboratory acids are:
hydrochloric, hydrobromic, hydroiodic, nitric, sulfuric & perchloric acids (they are underlined above).
Exercises: use only a plain periodic table when answering the following.

Lesson 1:
1. Write the name & symbol for the each of the Noble Gases.
2. Write the name, symbol & oxidation number (ionic charge) for each of the Alkali Metals.

Lesson 2:
1. Write the name, symbol & oxidation number for each of the Alkaline Earth Metals.
2. Write the name, symbol & oxidation number for each of the Halogens.
3. Define: Cation; Anion
4. Write the formulas for each of the (6) diatomic elements.

Lesson 3:
1. Write the name, symbol & oxidation number for all the metals learned so far.
2. Write the name, symbol & oxidation number for all the nonmetals.
3. Write the formulas for:
sodium fluoride sodium sulfide
magnesium fluoride magnesium sulfide
aluminum fluoride aluminum sulfide
4. Define: Binary salt

Lesson 4:
1. Write the names and formulas for all of the binary salts formed from the following combinations of cations and
Cl - S2- P3-




Lesson 5:
1. Write the names & formulas for all of the salts formed from the following combinations of cations and anions.
Cl - S2- N3-



Lesson 6:
1. Write the names & formulas for all of the salts formed from the following combinations of cations and anions.

OH - CO32- PO43- SO32- HCO3-







Lesson 7:
1. Give the formula or name:
oxygen dichloride SO2
sulfur hexafluoride SO3
hydrogen sulfide CS2
dinitrogen monoxide CH4

Lesson 8:
1. Write the names and formulas of the (4) binary acids you have learned. Identify which ones are weak which
ones are strong acids.
2. Write the formulas of the following acids:
carbonic acid
sulfuric acid
nitric acid
acetic acid
Additional Practice: Do the Vocabulary Worksheets posted on Canvas

Element List
Al aluminum Cl chlorine Fe iron N nitrogen Si silicon
Ar argon Cr chromium Kr krypton O oxygen Ag silver
Ba barium Co cobalt Pb lead Pd palladium Na sodium
Be beryllium Cu copper Li lithium P phosphorus Sr strontium
B boron F fluorine Mg magnesium Pt platinum S sulfur
Br bromine Au gold Mn manganese Pu plutonium Sn tin
Cd cadmium He helium Hg mercury K potassium U uranium
Ca calcium H hydrogen Ne neon Ra radium Xe xenon
C carbon I iodine Ni nickel Rn radon Zn zinc

Ions of Representative Elements

IA (+1 cations) IIA (+2 cations) IIIA (+3 cations) VA (-3 anions) VIA (-2 anions) VIIA (-1 anions)
+ 2+ -
H hydrogen/proton Be beryllium Al3+ aluminum N3- nitride O2- oxide F fluoride
+ 2+ 3- 2- -
Li lithium Mg magnesium P phosphide S sulfide Cl chloride
+ 2+ -
Na sodium Ca calcium Br bromide
K+ potassium Sr2+ strontium I- iodide
2+ barium
Ba Polyatomic Ions
Transition Metal Ions
Ag+ silver
Zn zinc
Cd2+ cadmium
variable charge
Au gold (I)
Au gold (III)
Cu copper (I)
Cu copper (II)
Hg mercury (II)
Fe iron (II)
Fe iron (III)
Ni nickel (II)
Ni nickel (III)
Pb lead (II)
Pb lead (IV)
Sn tin (II)
Sn tin (IV)