Naming Polyatomic Ions

How to Name Polyatomic Ions

Here are some simple rules for naming polyatomic ions.

Polyatomic ions with more oxygen atoms will end in -ate, and those with fewer oxygen atoms will end in -ite. When there are more than two polyatomic ions composed of the same elements, the prefix hypo- indicates the least number of oxygen atoms, and the prefix per- will indicate the most oxygen per ion.

Less Oxygen More Oxygen
hypo- -ite -ate per-

Look at the paradigm for chlorine oxyanions below. Continue reading