Chemistry-Urgent Help Please

posted by Josh

What are the differences between -ate, -ide, -ite, and the other suffixes? What are some ways of remembering? Thank you for clarifying this.

  1. DrBob222

    I don't know any tricks for remembering them unless it is to use them often enough that they become second nature.
    -ide names binary compounds (two atoms to the molecule such as NaCl-sodium chloride or CaC2-calcium carbide).

    The easiest way to describe the salts is to know which acid gives them so here are the usual ternary (H + element + oxygen) acids.
    H2SO4 is sulfurIC acid, HNO3 is nitrIC acid, HClO3 is chlorIC acid, H3PO4 is phosphorIC acid, etc. Note that we've simply added IC to the stem of the element.
    H2SO3 is sulfurOUS acid, HNO2 is nitrOUS acid, H3PO3 is phosphorOUS acid, HClO2 is chlorOUS acid. Note that the -OUS acid has 1 less oxygen atom than the -IC acid. Also note we've simply added OUS to the stem of the element.
    Now the easy part comes is naming the salts.
    -IC changes to -ate.
    -OUS changes to -ite.
    I think the trick is to know the acids. If you know which acid gives the salt, then change ic to ate and ous to ite and you have it made. Using Cl as an example, here are the names of the series of acids. Use this as a template for other acids in group 17 (VIIA).
    HClO4 = PERchlorIC acid
    HClO3 = chlorIC acid.
    HClO2 = chlorOUS acid
    HClO = hypochlorOUS acid.
    Br and I follow the same system.
    HNO3 and HNO2 are the common acids for N. H3PO4 and H3PO3 are the common acids for P. H2SO4 and H2SO3 the common acids for S. H2CO3 is carbonic acid. Looking at the periodic table would tell you to use the same system for As as you have for P and use Se as you would S

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