OBJECTIVE: To learn the symbols of some elements.
We often use abbreviations to simplify the written word. For example, it is much easier to put MA on an envelope than to write out Massachusetts, and we often write USA instead of United States of America. Likewise, chemists have invented a set of abbreviations or element symbols for the chemical elements. These symbols usually consist of the first letter or the first two letters of the element names. The first letter is always capitalized, and the second is not.
Sometimes, however, the two letters used are not the first two letters in the name.
The symbols for some other elements are based on the original Latin or Greek name.￼
Current Name Original Name Original Name Symbol
gold aurum Au
lead plumbum Pb
sodium natrium Na
iron ferrum Fe