Covalent compound

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

covalent compound non-metal + non-metal


What are the rules for naming 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

Prefixes for covalent compounds

Covalent compound

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

Names of compounds

Symbol Name Notes
CO carbon monoxide "mono" is not used in the first element.
CO₂ carbon dioxide Prefix "di" means the number of that element in the molecule.
N₂O₅ dinitrogen pentoxide The “a” in “penta” is dropped in the oxide.
BrF₅ bromine pentafluoride Bromine (lower in the periodic table) is named first.

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