This is related under the subject nomenclature.
In a covalent compound, the elements are name in the order that they are presented and the 2nd element is name as if it's an anion. Prefixes are usually used to determine the element number.
For example, carbon monoxide & dihydrogen monoxide. Notice that mono is never used for naming the first element.
In an ionic compound, there are two ways of naming them. The first are Type 1 compounds, where the metal present forms only one type of cation.
- The cation is always first and anion second.
- A simple cation takes it's parent name. For example:
- A simple anion takes it's parent name and add -ide. Ex:
- Combine the name of the ions. Ex: Sodium Chloride.
However, when the metal present forms two(or more) cations with different charges, you will need to balance the charges between both atoms. (This always applies to transition metals.)
Ex: Lead(IV) Oxide.