Ternary Compounds Study Guide


The majority of people adore pizza. They don’t merely order “pizza,” as even the most basic pizza will include a topping and cheese – pepperoni, maybe, or something else entirely. Many pizzas, on the other hand, rapidly become more complicated. One may prefer pepperoni and sausage, while another may prefer Canadian bacon and pineapple.

The combos may be more complicated, but the fundamental concepts of pizza remain the same. In the case of ionic compounds, the situation is identical. Ionic compounds aren’t entirely made up of monatomic ions. An ionic compound with three or more components is known as a ternary ionic complex.pizzaSource


  • A ternary compound or ternary phase is a chemical substance that contains three separate elements in inorganic and materials science.
  • One type of cation and one type of anion are still present in a standard ternary ionic combination. Either a cation, an anion, or both are polyatomic ions.
  • Let’s take Sodium phosphate (Na3PO4), for instance. The phosphate ion has a charge of 3-, while the sodium ion has a charge of 1 . To counterbalance the charge of one phosphate ion, three sodium ions are required.
  • Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is another case of a ternary compound.


  • We name ternary ionic complexes the same way we name binary ionic compounds: first the cation, then the anion.
  • When a compound contains more than one polyatomic ion, the ion’s formula is given in parentheses, with a subscript outside the parentheses indicating how many of those ions are present.

The following are the rules for designating ternary ionic compounds:

  1. For each ion, write the formula (symbol and charge).
  2. Charges in a crisscross pattern
  3. If a subscript higher than 1 appears around a polyatomic ion, parenthesis may be required.
  4. The lowest ratios of entire numbers
  5. After naming the cation, go on to the polyatomic anion.ternarySource


  • Sodium nitrate: NaNO3
  • Sodium hypochlorite: NaClO
  • Sodium chlorite: NaClO2
  • Sodium chlorate: NaClO3
  • Sodium perchlorate: NaClO4
  • Ammonium chloride: NH4Cl
  • Iron (III) hydroxide: Fe (OH)3


  • A ternary compound or ternary phase is a chemical substance that contains three separate elements.
  • We name ternary ionic complexes the same way we name binary ionic compounds: first the cation, then the anion.


1. How do you write Formulas for ternary compounds?

Write the cation’s symbol and charge first, then the anion’s symbol and charge. To confirm that the resulting formula is neutral, use the crisscross approach.

2. What is the formula for naming ionic compounds?

The cation comes first in naming ionic substances, followed by anion. The balance of positive and negative charges must always be maintained. Some anion species have many forms, which are denoted by roman numbers in parenthesis. Three or more elements make up ternary compounds.

3. What are the rules for naming ternary acids?

The following are the guidelines for naming ternary acids: The root of a nonmetal’s name with the suffix ‘ic’ is the designation of the most prevalent oxyacid for that nonmetal. It does not have a prefix. The root of the element’s name with the suffix ‘ate’ makes up the name of this acid’s anion.

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  1. Names and Formulas of Ternary Ionic Compounds: https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-chemistry-flexbook-2.0/section/7.10/primary/lesson/names-and-formulas-of-ternary-ionic-compounds-chem/ accessed 14 march 2022
  2. Ternary Compounds: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ternary_compound accessed 14 march 2022
  3. Formulas for Binary Ionic Compounds: https://www.ck12.org/c/chemistry/formulas-for-binary-ionic-compounds/lesson/Formulas-for-Binary-Ionic-Compounds-CHEM/ accessed 14 march 2022

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