What comes first when naming ionic compounds, the cation or the ion?
The name of the cation is the first word in the name of an ionic compound. This is a convention that people have just decided to use for some reason, but it seems to work out OK.
Typically, the cation will be a metal ion. However, the ammonium ion (##NH_4+##) is a fairly common example of a cation that contains no metals.
The second word will be the name of the anion. This will be either a nonmetallic element or a group of atoms called a “polyatomic ion.” Because Wikipedia is super awesome, you can check out a big list of by visiting them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyatomic_ion
Here is a video which discusses how to name ternary ionic compounds.
Video from: Noel Pauller