Organic Names Functional Group Structures Hydrocarbons compounds  Elmhurst College
Root Name Position Numbers  Inorganic Groups  Chemistry Department
Functional Group Names Carbon Branches Final Name  Virtual ChemBook

 

 FUNCTIONAL GROUP NAMES

The structures, properties, and chemical reactions of organic and biochemicals are determined by the functional groups present.

Functional groups are defined as specific groupings of atoms or bonds which are part of a larger hydrocarbon chain. It is necessary that you are able to recognize these groups by structure and by name.

Functional Group Names:

The ending of the name as a suffix tells the type of compound or functional group present.

The root name tells the number of carbons in the longest continuous chain.

Example upper left - most organic names:

A 3 carbon alcohol is named as:

CH3CH2CH2-OH = propanol

The name is derived as follows:

Three carbon root name = propane.

Drop the "e" ending and add "ol" the ending for alcohol.

Thus the name = propanol.

 Example middle left - Ethers:

In compounds where oxygen breaks a continuous chain of carbons, it is named in two parts. For ethers, if both parts are different, name each one separately using the root plus "-yl" and end with the word ether.

Functional
Group
Name

 Drop "e"
add

 Structure

 Name

Alcohol

-ol
CH3CH2CH2OH

 propanol

Aldehyde

 -al

 propanal

Ketone

 -one

propanone
or
acetone
(common
name)

 Acid

 -oic acid

 ethanoic acid
or
acetic acid
(common
name)

 Ester
(second
name)

 -oate
 

 methyl ethanoate

(See bottom panel on left)

Example on bottom left - Esters:

In compounds where oxygen breaks a continuous chain of carbons, the compound must be named in two parts. In esters divide the compound between the carbon double bond oxygen and the part with the single bond oxygen.

The part with the single bond oxygen is named first with the root plus "-yl" ending. Example: methyl

The part with the carbon double bond oxygen is named second with the root plus "-oate" ending. Example: ethanoate

Example: Methyl ethanoate

  *****

 Drop "-ane"
add

  ****************

 ********

Alkene

 -ene
 CH2=CHCH3

 propene

Alkyne

 -yne
 CH=CCH3

 propyne

Alkane
Branches

 -yl
 -CH2CH3

 ethyl

 Ether

 -yl
 CH3O-CH2CH3

methyl ethyl ether
(See middle panel on left)

 Ester
(first name)

 -yl

methyl ethanoate

(See bottom panel on left)
 Amine

 -ylamine
 CH3CH2CH2NH2

 propylamine