[en] Five new complexes with the generic formula [RuCl(2)(p-cymene)(SOC.NHC)] (2-6) were isolated in high yields by reacting the [RuCl(2)(p-cymene)](2) dimer with a range of imidazol(in)ium-2-thiocarboxylate zwitterions bearing cyclohexyl, 2,4,6-trimethylphenyl (mesityl), or 2,6-diisopropylphenyl groups on their nitrogen atoms in CH(2)Cl(2) at -20 degrees C. All the products were fully characterized by IR and NMR spectroscopy, and the molecular structures of [RuCl(2)(p-cymene)(SOC.IMes)] (3) and [RuCl(2)(p-cymene)(SOC.SIMes)] (5) were determined by X-ray diffraction analysis. Coordination of the NHC.COS ligands took place via the sulfur atom. A remarkable shielding of the methine proton on the p-cymene isopropyl group was observed by (1)H NMR spectroscopy for complexes 3-6. It is most likely caused by the aromatic ring current of a neighboring mesityl or 2,6-diisopropylphenyl substituent. The catalytic activity of compounds 2-6 was probed in the ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) of cyclooctene, in the atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP) of methyl methacrylate, and in the synthesis of enol esters from 1-hexyne and 4-acetoxybenzoic acid. In all these reactions, the [RuCl(2)(p-cymene)(SOC.NHC)] complexes displayed performances slightly inferior to those exhibited by [RuCl(2)(p-cymene)(NHC)] species that result from the reaction of [RuCl(2)(p-cymene)](2) with NHC.CO(2) inner salts. However, they were significantly better catalyst precursors than the much more robust chelates of the [RuCl(p-cymene)(S(2)C.NHC)PF(6) type obtained by coordination of NHC.CS(2) betaines to the ruthenium dimer. These results suggest that the Ru-(SOC.NHC) motif undergoes a dethiocarboxylation under the experimental conditions adopted for the catalytic tests and leads to the same elusive Ru-NHC active species as the preformed [RuCl(2)(p-cymene)-(NHC)] family of complexes.