(unfortunately at the moment I do not remember the difference
between 'ide' and 'ate' either way it is only one two oxygen off
from boron) are two of the data sheets I referred to, as my
chemistry classes for the most part are 30 years or better out of
Take for example some compounds of potassium. The compound of
potassium and sulphur, potassium sulphide, is just composed of
potassium and sulphur atoms, specifically two potassium and one
The compound called potassium sulphate is made up of two potassium,
one sulphur and four oxygen (the term ate refers to the oxygen). The
compound has a formula of K2SO4.
Another example would be sodium carbide, Na2C2, just made of two
sodium and two carbon atoms. Sodium carbonate, Na2CO3 is two sodium,
one carbon and three oxygen atoms.
In such nomenclature, you always name the metal first (potassium,
sodium, calcium, iron, etc) and the non-metal afterwards. If the
non- metal is the only type of atom complexed with the metal then the
second term of the compound will be the name (or part of the name)
of the non-metal followed by the term ide, hence potassium sulphide.
Other examples of this type of compound with a metal and one
non-metal are things like the metal halides. Name is the metal, then
part of the halide name then ide. Example, table salt is sodium
chloride. Others would be potassium fluoride, calcium iodide,
magnesium bromide, etc. The list is almost limitless.
Other examples of non-metal ides would be nitrides, oxides, etc.
Things like sulphates and carbonates are negative ions (anions)
which don’t exist on their own but are complexed with a metal, hence
potassium sulphate, calcium carbonate, etc. Again the metal is named
first (and is the positive ion or cation of the compound) and the
negative, non-metallic part of the compound comes afterwards.
Here endeth the chemistry lesson! I hope all this makes some sense,
it does to me.