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How do you determine which non-metal is written first in a covalent compound? This has been a confusion for me for quite some time.

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The way my teacher taught me was C,H,O first, and then in order of decreasing electronegativity.

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Typical convention for organic molecules is to list carbon first, than hydrogen, and then other elements in alphabetical order. The Merck Index, for example, does it this way.

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