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Nomenclature of Organic Compounds

March 9, 2013


Following are the steps  to clearly understand the  nomenclature of carbon compounds and naming the compound .

  • The longest continuous chain of carbon atoms is considered for naming the carbon compound. The prefix in the name of the compound depends on the number of carbon atoms present in the compound.
    1  meth
    2  eth
    3  prop
    4   but
    5   pent
    6   hex
    7   hept
    8   oct
    9   non
    10   dec
  • In numbering the carbon atoms in the parent chain start at the end which results in the use of lowest numbers for the substituted carbon atoms.
  • The part of names that suceed the root word may be considered as suffixes. suffixes are classified intwo two:
  1.  primary suffixes- it tells us about the nature of the compound regarding the saturation and unsaturation

2.   secondary suffux : This tells us about the functional group.

According to the priority principle if the compound is poly functional compound, the selection of the principle functional group follows the sequence:

  acids > acid derivatives except nitriles> aldehydes> nitriles> ketones> alcohols > amines.

    •    when the same substituent is present on the same carbon atom, more than once then the position of the substituent is repeated number of times as per the repetition of the substituent.
    •  If the carbon chain contains two or more  than two identical substituents then di, tri, tera, etc prefixes are used to indicate the number of such substituents


  • if the number of different groups are attached to the parent chain then the meaning is done in two ways. According to the IUPAC names is given to the compound following the increasing order of complexity  of the group. According to the chemical abstract system ( CAS) alphabetical order  is  followed.


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