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Types of Chemical Compounds

To write the names or formulas for chemical compounds the first step is to determine what type of compound you have.

Once you know the type of compound you can apply the rules for that compound.

While there are other types of compounds, we'll only cover the most common types here.



Ion    Binary Ionic    Ternary Ionic    Ionic with Transition Metal   Molecular   Organic  

Periodic Table with Metals and Non-Metals

Important Types of Compounds

Type Description Examples
Ion Element with a Charge Sodium ion, Na+
Chloride ion, Cl-
Iron (III) ion, Fe3+
Polyatomic Ion Group of Elements with a Charge Carbonate ion, CO32-
Nitrate ion, NO3-
Ammonium ion, NH4+
Binary Ionic Metal + Single Non-Metal Sodium chloride, NaCl
Potassium sulfide, K2S
Aluminum oxide, Al2O3
Ternary Ionic

Metal + Group of Non-Metals

Sodium nitrate, NaNO3
Calcium carbonate,CaCO3
Magnesium hydroxide Mg(OH)2
Ionic with Transition Metal Transition Metal with Non-Metal or Polyatomic Ion Iron (III) chloride, FeCl3
Manganese (II) sulfate, MnSO4
Copper (I) oxide, Cu2O
(also called Covalent)
Non-metal + Non-metal Dinitrogen pentoxide, N2O5
Carbon dioxide, CO2
Carbon monoxide, CO
Organic Compounds consisting primarily of Carbon and Hydrogen Methane, CH4
Ethane, C2H6

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