All acids have hydrogen as the only cation. Binary acids are those acids that are composed of only two elements; that is, they consist of hydrogen in combination with some elemental anion. Usually the anion is a halide (F, Cl, Br, I), but binary acids with other anions also occur.
The ternary acids generally are made of hydrogen ion combined with one of the radicals that contain oxygen. F or this reason, they are often referred to as "oxyacids."
When naming the ternary acids, the suffixes on the names of the radicals are changed and followed by the word "acid" to show the presence of the hydrogen. Radicals ending in -ate change their suffix to -ic; radicals ending in -ite change their suffix to -ous. The prefixes, if there are any, are not changed. Occasionally, an extra syllable is added in the middle of the name for pronunciation purposes--these do not follow any pattern and must be learned. Here are some examples of naming ternary acids from the radicals:
|RADICAL||NAME OF RADICAL||ACID||NAME OF ACID|
- HNO3 is called nitric acid
- HNO2 is called nitrous acid
- HClO4 is called perchloric acid
- H2CO3 is called carbonic acid
- H3PO3 is called phosphorous acid
- H3PO4 is called phosphoric acid