List of chemistry mnemonics

A mnemonic is a memory aid used to improve long term memory and make the process of consolidation easier. Many chemistry aspects, rules, names of compounds, sequences of elements, their reactivity, etc., can be easily and efficiently memorized with the help of mnemonics. This article contains the list of certain mnemonics in chemistry.


Sequence of orbitals

Further information: Spectroscopic notation
s p d f g h i k

Note: After the k shell, they follow alphabetical order (skipping s and p as they came earlier).[1]

Aufbau principle

1s2 2s2 2p6 3s2 3p6 4s2 3d10 ...

The order of sequence of atomic orbitals (according to Madelung rule or Klechkowski rule) can be remembered by the following.

Order in which orbitals are arranged by increasing energy according to the Madelung rule. Each diagonal red arrow corresponds to a different value of n + l.

Periodic table

Main article: Periodic table


Periods 1, 2 and 3

H He Li Be B C N O F Ne Na Mg Al Si P S Cl Ar

EASIEST AND POPULAR : *Hi He Lied Because Boron Could Not Oxidize Fluorine. New Nations Might Also Sign Peace Security Clause. Arthur King Can. (till Ca)

Native Magpies Always Sit Peacefully Searching Clear Areas.[2]
Naughty Magpies Always Sing Perfect Songs Clawing Ants.
Naughty Margaret Always Sighs, "Please Stop Clowning Around."[3]
Nellie's Naughty Magpie Always Sings Pop Songs Clearly
After Killing Cathy.[3]
All Silicon Ports. Superman Clean Argon's K-Capture.[4]

Period 4

K (Potassium) Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se Br Kr

Transition metals

Main article: Transition metals


Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn

"Sc"ience "Ti"cher "V"ery "Cr"uel "'M"a"n "F"r"ee "Co"aching to "Ni"dy "C"o"u"sin"Z"


Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd


La ... Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg

Lanthanides and actinides

Main articles: Lanthanides and actinides


(La) Ce Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu


(Ac) Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr

56 elements in sequence

He Li Be B C N O F Ne Na Mg Al Si P S Cl Ar
K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se Br Kr
Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I Xe
Cs Ba
Nature Magnifies All Simple People Sometimes Clowns And
Kings Can Scream Till Vast Crowds Moan. Fear Conquers Neither Courageous Zealous
Gallant Gents. As Seen Brown Karate Robes Strip Yobs. Zurich Noble Mortals Track Ruddy Rhubarb. Paid Silver Candid
Indian Sons Sobbing Tears In Xcess Cease Bawling.[4]


Group 1 (alkali metals)

Li Na K Rb Cs Fr
Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Cesium, Francium

LIttle NAsty Kids RuB CatS FuR

LIttle NAughty Kids Ruin Ben's Convenient Store Forever

Remember that hydrogen is not an alkali metal

Group 2 (alkaline earth metals)

Be Mg Ca Sr Ba Ra

Beryllium, Magnesium, Calcium, Strontium, Barium, Radium

Be Mg Ka Sar Bahar Rah

Group 13

B Al Ga In Tl

Boron, Aluminum, Gallium, Indium, Thallium

Group 14

C Si Ge Sn Pb

Carbon, Silicon, Germanium, Tin, Lead

Group 15 (pnictogens)

N P As Sb Bi

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Arsenic, Antimony, Bismuth

Group 16 (chalcogens)

O S Se Te Po

Oxygen, Sulphur (or Sulfur), Selenium, Tellurium, Polonium

Group 17 (halogens)

F Cl Br I At

Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine, Astatine

Group 18 (noble gases)

He Ne Ar Kr Xe Rn

Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Radon

Properties of elements

Abundance of elements on earth's crust

Oxygen > Silicon > Aluminum > Iron (Fe) > Calcium > Magnesium (Mg) > Sodium (Na) > Potassium (K)
(The rest makes only 1%)

Activity series of metals

Main article: Reactivity series

Note that Carbon is a non-metal, used as a baseline.

K > Na > Mg > Al > Zn > Cr > Fe > Pd > H > Cu > Au
Potassium > Sodium > Calcium > Magnesium > Aluminum > Zinc > Iron > Lead > Copper > Silver > Gold.

Peter Sells Careless Monkeys And Zebras In Large Cages Securely Guarded

Potassium > Sodium > Calcium > Magnesium > Aluminum > Zinc > Iron > Tin > Lead > Hydrogen > Copper > Mercury > Silver > Gold > Platinum
Potassium > Sodium > Calcium > Magnesium > Aluminum > Carbon > Zinc > Iron > Tin > Lead > Hydrogen > Copper > Mercury > Silver
K > Na > Ca > Mg > Al > C > Zn > Fe > Ni > Sn > Pb > H > Cu > Ag > Au >Pt
Li > K > Ba > Sr > Ca > Na > Mg > Al > Mn > Zn > Cr > Fe > Cd > Co > Ni > Sn > Pb


Main article: Electronegativity
Fluorine > Oxygen > Nitrogen >Clorine > Bromine > Iodine > Sulphur > Carbon > Hydrogen ≥ Phosphorus

FONe CalL Brought to India,Sonias Congress Happy Position

(F)irst (O)ff, (Cl)ean (N)ow; (Br)ing (I)n (S)ome (C)aps, (H)alters, and (P)ants.

Flaming Oxygen Nice Clear Bright I Suspect Canned Hydrogen

Electrochemical series

Potassium > Calcium > Sodium > Magnesium > Aluminium > Zinc > Iron > Tin > Lead > Hydrogen > Copper > Silver > Gold

Reactions and ions

Redox reactions

A redox reaction is a chemical reaction in which there is a change in oxidation state of atoms participating in the reaction.


An atom (or ion) whose oxidation number increases in a redox reaction is said to be oxidized (and is called a reducing agent). It is accomplished by loss of one or more electrons. The atom whose oxidation number decreases gains (receives) one or more electrons and is said to be reduced. This relation can be remembered by the following mnemonics.

Cations and anions

Cations are positively (+) charged ions while anions are negatively (−) charged. This can be remembered with the help of the following mnemonics.

Cation vs. anion: positive vs. negative

The t in cation looks like a plus sign: "ca+ion".

Cation is positive, anion is negative.[25]

Oxidation vs. reduction:electrochemical cell and electron gain/loss


At the ANode, Oxidation Involves Loss of electrons.

Reduction Involves Gaining electrons at the CAThode.[25]

'LOAN'- Left Anode Oxidation Negative [ on the left on side of the cell reaction (in written form), Oxidation takes place ]


An electrode in which oxidation takes place is called an anode while in that which reduction takes place is called cathode. This applies for both electrolytic and electrochemical cells, though the charge on them reverses. The red cat and an ox mnemonics are useful to remember the same.

An ox: Anode for oxidation.[26]
Also, both reduction and cathode begin with consonants.[24]


Diatomic molecules

Molecules exhibiting diatomic structures can be remembered through the following mnemonics.

Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine

Hydrogen bonds

Hydrogen forms hydrogen bonds with three elements which are nitrogen (N), oxygen (O) and fluorine (F). The names of these elements can be remembered by the following mnemonic.

Polyatomic ions: ate and -ite ions

Sulfate, Phosphate, Carbonate, Chlorate, Bromate, Iodate, Nitrate
Nitrate, Bromate, Carbonate, Iodate, Chlorate, Chromate, Sulfate, Phosphate

Number of consonants denotes number of oxygen atoms. Number of vowels denotes negative charge quantity. Inclusion of the word "ate" signifies that each ends with the letters a-t-e. To use this for the -ite ions, simply subtract one oxygen but keep the charge the same.

Organic chemistry

Carboxylic acids

Common names of homogeneous aliphatic carboxylic acids,

Formic, Acetic, Propionic, Butyric, Valeric, Caproic

Dicarboxylic acids

The sequence of dicarboxylic acids can be remembered with following mnemonics.

Oxalic, Malonic, Succinic, Glutaric, Adipic, Pimelic, Suberic, Azelaic, Sebacic

Aromatic compounds

m-directing groups

Quaternary amino Ester Sulfonic acid Nitro Carbonyl Carboxyl Cyano
(-NR3+) (-COOR) (-SO3H) (-NO2) (-CHO)(-COOH) (-CN)

o,p-directing groups

Alkyl Halogen Alkoxyl Amino Hydroxyl Amide Phenyl

Note: -NH2,-NHR and NR2 are para directing groups but not -NR3+

E-Z notation for isomers

Main article: E-Z notation

"Zame Zide. Epposite.":

Z is the 2 functional groups on the same side of double bond.

E is for opposite sides.[25]

Cis–trans isomerism

Main article: Cis–trans isomerism

Cis starts with a C and the functional groups form a C.

Trans, therefore is the other one by default.[25]

Benzene ring: order of substitutes

"Benzene likes to ROMP":

R group





Essential amino acids

Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Serine, Tyrosine, Glycine, Alanine, Cysteine, Glutamate, Asparate, Arginine, Glutamine, Histadine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine, Histidine, Asparagine, (Selenocysteine - usually omitted)

Krebs cycle

To remember Krebs cycle (citric acid cycle, tricarboxylic acid cycle);


Citric Acid Is One Key Substrate For Mitochondrial Oxidation

Plant nutrients

To remember the elements necessary for agriculture;

Carbon, Hydrogen, Calcium, Iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg), Manganese (Mn), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum, Chlorine (Cl), Boron

For remembering macronutrients;

Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Calcium, and Magnesium

C H O N P K Ca Mg S {CHO "N"ever "P"unch "K"ittens they'll "Ca"ll aunt "Mag" and then you are "S"crewed.

See also


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  2. Hara, Jaclyn R.; Stanger, Gordon R.; Leony, Denisse A.; Renteria, Sandra S.; Carrillo, Alejandro; Michael, Katja (2007). "Multilingual Mnemonics for the Periodic Table". Journal of Chemical Education. 84 (12): 1918. doi:10.1021/ed084p1918. ISSN 0021-9584.
  3. 1 2 3 "Mnemonic: Sentences to remember the elements". Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  4. 1 2 "Science Jokes:11. MNEMONICS : 11.5 CHEMISTRY". Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  5. Chemical formula. "Periodic table mnemonic (memory device)". Retrieved 2012-07-24.
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  7. Martin Berry (30 Nov 1972). A dictionary of mnemonics. New Scientist. Reed Business Information. (Eyre Mithuen). p. 535.
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  14. Mnemonicate
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Further reading


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