Learning Goal: To name ionic compounds from the chemical formula.
Because the common names of many chemical compounds are not helpful in indicating the chemical nature of the compound (e.g., the common name "table salt" gives no clue that this compound is composed of sodium and chlorine, \rm NaCl), systematic names have been introduced to accurately identify compounds. The naming of simple ionic compounds is relatively straightforward, once you understand the naming system.
Ionic compounds are named according to their cation first, followed by their anion. Once the cation is named, the anion is then named. The naming conventions are listed in the tables to the right.
Finally, although ionic compounds need to have an overall neutral charge, the number of cations or anions are not mentioned in the formula name. For example, \rm AlCl_3 is aluminum chloride, not aluminum trichloride