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To write the chemical formula for covalent compounds, you must write the names of the participating atoms. The amounts of the atoms should be written as subscripts next to the chemical symbol. For example, sulfur hexafluoride means that one sulfur atom is present in every molecule, while six fluorine atoms are present in one molecule.

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Some examples of writing the formula of a covalent compound. 1. Nitrogen Dioxide. Since there is no prefix in front of nitrogen, there is only 1 nitrogen. Since the prefix in front of oxide is di-, there are 2 oxygens. The formula is NO 2. 2. Tetracarbon monoxide. Since the prefix in front of carbon is tetra-, there are 4 carbons.