Question #a8817

1 Answer

Symbol = element
Formula = compound


A chemical symbol is used to show an element which is not combined with any other elements. I'll list some examples.

H = hydrogen
He = helium
Li = lithium
N = nitrogen
Na = sodium

Notice that symbols can have 1 or 2 letters. The first letter is capitalized, the second must be written with a lowercase letter.

A chemical formula gives the type and number of elements which are found in a chemical compound. Here are some examples.

CO = carbon monoxide (carbon with oxygen)
#H_2O# = water (hydrogen with oxygen)
NaCl = sodium chloride/salt (sodium with chlorine)
#C_6H_12O_6# = glucose (carbon, hydrogen and oxygen)

Here are a couple videos to help with writing chemical formulas.

Hope this helps!