Elements are substances that cannot be separated into simpler substances. Salt is made up of the elements sodium and chloride. Water is made up of the elements hydrogen and oxygen.
A compound is a substance formed when two or more elements are chemically joined. Water, salt, and sugar are examples of compounds. When the elements are joined, the atoms lose their individual properties and have different properties from the elements they are composed of. A chemical formula is used a quick way to show the composition of compounds. Letters, numbers, and symbols are used to represent elements and the number of elements in each compound.