List of chemistry mnemonics

martyna p Tips and Tricks

Mnemonics are useful memory aids that can help you 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 useful for chemistry.

Sequence of orbitals

s p d f g h i k
  • Spd force great hik
  • Sober Physicists Don’t Find Giraffes Hiding IKitchens.

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

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.[2]

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

Periodic table

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

Native Magpies Always SiPeacefully Searching Clear Areas.[3]Naval Magistrates Always Signal Per Siren, Claiming Adequacy.[4]Naughty Margaret Always Sighs, “Please Stop Clowning Around.”[5]Nellie’s Naughty Magpie Always Sings Pop Songs ClearlyAfter Killing Cathy.[5]AlSilicon Ports. Superman Clean Argon’s K-Capture.[6]

  • Happy Harry Listens B B C Network Over France Nevertheless Nothing More Arose SPeter Stopped Cleaning Airgun K Ca.[7]
  • Ha. Healthy Little Beggar Boys Catching Newts OFish.[8]
  • Hell, Here Little Beatniks Brandish Countless Number OFlick kNives.[9] Nagging Maggie Always Sighs, “Please Stop Clowning Around.” [5] (adapted)

K (Potassium) Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se Br Kr
  • Kindly Cannibals Scare Timid Visitors, ‘n’ Cruelly Menace Female Communist Nitwits Cuddling ZanGabbling Geese Astride Several Brutal Kangaroos.[4]
  • In reverse order: KrBrother! SeAs of Germany and Gaul sink copper ships Nice and Cold From Manx to Crimea, Vancouver to Timor, and Scandinavia to the California Koast.[10]

Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn
  • Scary Tiny Vicious Creatures are Mean; Females Come to Night to CluZen.[11]
  • SucTion VelCrMan Fears CoNiC uZi.
  • Science Ticher (actually Teacher) Very Cruel Man FeCoNiCuZn (pronounce fe-ko-ni-ku-zen)

Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd
  • Yes S(Z)irNiobi and Most Technicians RuRhonda Padilla’s silver(AgCadillac.[11]

La … Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg
  • Larry’s Half Taken, Wendy Reached Out H(I)er PlatAudibly, Helga.[11]
(La) Ce Pr Nd Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu
  • Ladies Can’t Put Nickels Properly in Slot-machines. Every Girl Tries DailyHowever, Every TimYou Lose.[12]
  • Languid Centaurs Praise Ned’Promise of Small European Garden Tubs; Dinosaurs Hobble Erratically Thrumming Yellow Lutes.[13]
(Ac) Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr
  • Radiant Acting Thoroughly Protects yoUNepotism, Plutocratic America Cures-me & Berkeley California, Einstein Firmly Mended Noble Lawreins.[14]
  • Three Planets: Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. AmCured Berkeley, California. Einstein and FermMadNoble Laws.[11]

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

Indian SonSobbing Tears IXcess CeasBawling.[6]

Alkali metals

Li Na K Rb Cs Fr

Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium, Caesium, Francium

  • Little Nasty Kids Rub Cats Fur
  • LIttle NAughty Kids Ruin Ben’s Convenient Store Forever
  • Little Nathan Knew Rubies CosFortunes

Alkaline earth metals

Be Mg Ca Sr Ba Ra

Beryllium, Magnesium, Calcium, Strontium, Barium, Radium

  • Bearded Muggers Came Straight Back Rapidly.
  • Beer MugCaServe BaRats.[11]
  • BeMeg & Casia Stroll away to Bar of Radium

Group 13

B Al Ga In Tl

Boron, Aluminium, Gallium, Indium, Thallium

  • Bowler AlGave Instant Tea
  • B A G I T (Bag it)

For Hindi Language Speakers-

  • Baingan AlGajjar In Thaila
  • BAl Ga ngadhar India ke Ti lak.
  • Britishers Always Gave Indians Trouble.

Group 14

C Si Ge Sn Pb

Carbon, Silicon, Germanium, Tin, Lead

  • Can Simple Germans Snare (Tiny) Public (Lead)?[11]


N P As Sb Bi

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Arsenic, Antimony, Bismuth, Moscovium.

I’ll Never Play A Saxophone By Myself . N. P. As Sb. Bi. Mc


O S Se Te Po

Oxygen, Sulfur, Selenium, Tellurium, Polonium

  • Old TSangpo Seem Terribly Polluted.[11]


F Cl Br I At Uus

Fluorine, Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine, Astatine, Tennessine

  • Funny Clowns Broil Innocent Ants.[11]
  • Fast Clouds Break IAtlantis.[14]

Noble gases

He Ne Ar Kr Xe Rn

Helium, Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, Radon, Oganesson

  • Hero Needs Arguable Kryptic Xes. Right-on.[14]
  • He Never Arrived; Karen eXited with Ron.[11]

Properties of elements

Abundance of elements Earth’s crust

[Oxygen(O)] > [Silicon(Si)] > [Aluminium(Al)] > [Iron(Fe)] > [Calcium(Ca)] > [Sodium (Na)] > [Potassium(K)] > [Magnesium (Mg)]
(The rest makes only 1%)
  • Only Strong Athletes ICollege Study Past Midnight
  • Oh, see(Si), Alfie(FeCannot(NaKiss Meg(Mg)

As they are present in trace quantities they are measured in parts per million(ppm).

Activity series of metals

Main article: Reactivity series

  • Please Stop Calling MA Cute Zebra I Like Her Call Smart Goat [15]
  • Please Stop Calling MA Carless Zebra Instead Try Learning How Copper Miners Save Gold Pit

Note that Carbon and Hydrogen are non-metals, used as a baseline.

K > Na > Mg > Al > Zn > Cr > Fe > Pb > H > Cu > Au
  • Kangaroos Naturally Muck About in Zoos For Purple Hippos Chasing Aardvarks.[16]
  • Katty’s Naughty CaMingled with Alice and Zarina; Fearlessly Plundering Her Cupboard of Gold.[17]
  • Papa Said Call MAfter Zinc Interacts Tin Leading Hydrogen Co-operate Mr. Sylvester to Gain Popularity.[18]
K > Na > Ca > Mg > Al > C > Zn > Fe > Ni > Sn > Pb > H > Cu > Ag > Au >Pt
  • Pretty(Potassium) Sally(Sodium) Could(Calcium) Marry(Magnesium) A(Aluminium) Crazy(Carbon) Zulu(Zinc) IN(Iron/Nickel) Tree(Tin) Lined(Lead) House(Hydrogen) Causing(Copper) Strangely(Silver) Glancing(Gold) People(Platinum).
Li > K > Ba > Sr > Ca > Na > Mg > Al > Mn > Zn > Cr > Fe > Cd > Co > Ni > Sn > Pb
  • Li K Ba Sr Ca Na. Mg Al Mn Zn. Cr Fe Cd, Co Ni Sn Pb. That is.


Main article: Electronegativity

Fluorine > Oxygen > Chlorine > Nitrogen > Bromine > Iodine > Sulfur > Carbon > Hydrogen ≥ Phosphorus
  • Pronounce: FOClN BrIS CHP.[19]

(F)irst (O)ff, (Cl)od (N)ow; (Br)ing (I)n (S)ome (C)aps, (H)ats, and (P)ants. (First off, cold now. Bring in some caps, hats {and} pants.)

Electrochemical series

Main article: Standard electrode potential (data page)

Potassium > Sodium > Calcium > Magnesium > Aluminium > Zinc > Iron > Tin > Lead > Hydrogen > Copper > Silver > Gold
  • Popular Scientists CaMake A Zoo IThe Low Humid Country More(Mercury) Satisfactorily (Gold).
  • Paddy Still Could Marry A Zulu IThe Lovely Honolulu Causing Strange Gazes.
  • Please Stop Calling MA Crazy Zombie IThat Large Hippo Can’t Swim, Glug, glug.
  • Passive Sarcasm Can Mutate Angry Zombies InTLarge Hypocritical Cold Sexy Guys.
  • Please Send Charlie’s Monkeys And Zebras ICages Securely Guarded

Reactions and ions

Redox reactions

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.

  • Leo says Ger! or Leo the lion, Ger! can be used to represent Loss of electron is oxidation; Gain of electron is reduction.[20][21]
  • Oil Rig: Oxidation iloss; Reduction igain (of electrons).[22]

Cations and anions

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

  • Cats have paws ⇔ Cations are pawsitive.[23]
  • Ca+ionThe letter t in cation looks like a + (plus) sign.[24]
  • An anion is a negative ion. (Anegativeion ⇒ Anion).[25]

Cations vs anions

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

Cation is positive, anion is negative.[26]

Oxidation vs reduction


At the ANode, Oxidation Involves Loss of electrons.

Reduction Involves Gaining electrons at the CAThode.[26]

LOAN – Left Anode Oxidation Negative. In written representation of galvanic cell, anode is written on the left. It is the electrode where oxidation takes place. It is the negative electrode. Obviously, the opposite properties (Right/Cathode/Reduction/Positive) are found on the cathode. Hence, by remembering LOAN mnemonic, we can arrive at the corresponding properties for the cathode.

LEO says GER:

Loss of Electrons, Oxidation; Gain of Electrons, Reduction”.[27]


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.

  • Red cat: Reduction at cathode

An ox: Anode for oxidation.[28]

  • The words oxidation and anode, both begin with vowels.

Also, both reduction and cathode begin with consonants.[25]

  • Fat Cat: electrons flow From Anode TCathode
  • LOAN: Left side;Oxidation;Anode;Negative.


Diatomic molecules

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

  • Have NFear OIce ColBeer. [29]
  • Horses Need Oats For Clear Brown Eyes (I’s).
  • Her Nana’s Only Functioning Clicker Broke Instantly.[30]
  • BrINClHOF: say Brinkelhof.[31]
  • I Bring Clay For Our New House.[11]

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.

  • Hydrogen is FON! (fun).[25]

Polyatomic ions

Sulfate, Phosphate, Carbonate, Chlorate, Bromate, Iodate, Nitrate
  • Super Popeye Constantly Clubbed Brutus INevada.
Nitrate, Bromate, Carbonate, Iodate, Chlorate, Chromate, Sulfate, Phosphate
  • Nick Brit the Camel ate an Inky Clam with Crêpes for Supper in Phoenix.

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,

  • Frogs Are Polite, Being Very Courteous.[32]

Dicarboxylic acids

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

  • OMy, Such Good Apples.[33]
  • OMStars, Green Apples.
  • OMy, Such Good Apple Pie, Sweet ASugar.[34][35]
  • OMStars, GAhead Please[25]
  • OMSGAP – is a phonetic word for the first letters of the first six dicarboxylic acids above in sequence.

Aromatic compounds

m-directing groups

Quaternary aminoEsterSulfonic acidNitroCarbonylCarboxylCyano
  • Queen Elizabeth Second’s Navy Commands, Controls, Communicates.[36]

o,p-directing groups


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

E-Z notation for isomers

Main article: E-Z notation

“E” for enemies. i.e higher priority groups on opposite sides. Z form has higher priority groups on same side.[26]

“Z zame zide” i.e. high priority groups on same side.

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.[26]

Benze rings

Main article: Benzene ring

From R group moving around the ring:[26]

R group, Ortho, Meta, Para
  • Benzene likes to ROMP.


Essential amino acids

  • PVT TIM HaLL[37] and TT HALL Very IMPortant.[38]
  • MATT HILL, VP Matt Hill is the Vice President
  • Any Help ILearning These Little Molecules Proves Truly Valuable.[39] This method begins with the two amino acids that need some qualifications as to their requirements.
  • There as [a] fat man [that] hated vanilla icing, [but] loved Kit-Kats.

Krebs cycle

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

Citrate → Aconitate → Isocitrate → Oxalosuccinate → α-Ketoglutarate → Succinate → Fumarate → Malate → Oxaloacetate
  • Caesar’s Armies Invaded Other Kingdoms Searching For Many Oranges.[19]
  • Citric Acid IOne 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
  • C (see) Hopkins CaFeMighty-good ManCu (see your) Money, hope they are Closed or out of Business.[40]

For remembering macronutrients;

Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Calcium, and Magnesium
  • C. HOPKiN’S Ca Mg (C. Hopkins coffee mug).

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.


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