What's the differences between the endings -ide, -ate, -ite in chemical compounds?

What's the differences between the endings -ide, -ate, -ite in chemical compounds?


When the name of a compound ends with -ide, it means the only two types of elements form the compound. Example Sodium chlorIDE (NaCl), Potassium sulphIDE (K2S) magnesium nitrIDE (Mg3N2) silicon carbIDE (SiC), calcium fluorIDE (CaF2) etc. But if the compound is contains a oxo-radical such as sulphate carbonate nitrate etc, the naming is base on the magnitude of the oxygen. If the oxygen content is low the compound's name ends with -ite and in the high content of oxygen the name ends with -ate. Examples: sadium nitrite (NaNO2), sodium nitrate (NaNO3). Sodium sulphite (Na2SO3) and sodium sulphate (Na2SO4).


They indicate oxidation state of one of the atoms in the chemical formulate.


Na2S is sulphide (S oxidn state II)

Na2SO3 is sulphite (S oxidn state is IV)

Na2SO4 is sulphate (S oxidn state is VI)


1. ide ----- when salt is formed from hydra- acids or when there is a cation directly linked with a non metal such as

Cl . Br. I . O, N ,S, H, then the suffix ide is used. e. g.

KCl potassium chlor ide , KBr pot. brom ide , K2O pot. oxide, K2S pota.. sulph ide etc

2. ate -- when salt is formed fom higher oxy- acid or when anion is formed from an ic acid then the anion is called ate e.g.

from H2SO4 (sulfuric acid--- sul phate . HNO3 nitric acid ---nitrate. HClO3 chloric acid

chlorate . e.g. K2SO4,pot sulphate .,KNO3 pot nitrate , KClO3 pot chlorate

3.when anion is formed from lower oxy-acid then suffix ite is used e.g. H2SO3 ,HNO2., HCLO2

forms K2SO3 pot suphite, KNO2 pot nitrite , KClO2 pot chlorite ec.