Chemical nomenclature is the term given to the naming of compounds. Chemists use specific rules and "conventions" to name different compounds. This section is designed to help you review some of those rules and conventions. primary function of chemical nomenclature is to ensure that a spoken or written chemical name leaves no ambiguity concerning which chemical compound the name refers to: each chemical name should refer to a single substance.

Types of nomenclature

  • Substitutive name
  • Functional class name, also known as a radicofunctional name
  • Conjunctive name
  • Additive name
  • Subtractive name
  • Multiplicative name
  • Fusion name
  • Hantzsch–Widman name
  • Replacement name
  • The nomenclature of alchemy is rich in description, but does not effectively meet the aims outlined above. Opinions differ about whether this was deliberate on the part of the early practitioners of alchemy or whether it was a consequence of the particular (and often esoteric) theoretical framework in which they worked.

    While both explanations are probably valid to some extent, it is remarkable that the first "modern" system of chemical nomenclature appeared at the same time as the distinction (by Lavoisier) between elements and compounds, in the late eighteenth century.