A covalent compound involves the sharing of electrons between two non-metals.

What are the rules for covalent compounds?

  • Covalent compounds use prefixes – to indicate the number of atoms of each element in the compound
  • The element that is on the left of the periodic table comes first
  • The element that is lower on the periodic table comes first
  • If halogen is present, halogen is named first
  • If hydrogen is present, hydrogen is named first


  1. mono –
  2. di –
  3. tri –
  4. tetra –
  5. penta –
  6. hexa –
  7. hepta –
  8. octa –

Concept check


After this, you are ready to go to (3. ionic compounds)

3. Learn the rules for ionic compounds

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