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Organic Compounds: Nomenclature-Functional Groups

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Organic Compounds: Nomenclature-Functional Groups - Lesson Summary

A functional group is an atom (or) a group of atoms present in a molecule, which largely determine the chemical properties of the molecule. Organic compounds that have similar functional groups show similar chemical reactions.

Functional groups play an important role in determining the properties of a compound, and are used to organize organic compounds in different classes. Different funcional groups are given as follows.   Class of Compound   Functional Group Structure   IUPAC Group (Prefix)    IUPAC Group (Suffix)    Alkane    -    -    ane    Alkene    >C=C<    -    ene    Alkyne    -C≡C-    -    yne    Halide    -X(X=F,Cl,Br,I)    halo    -    Alcohol    -OH    hydroxy    ol    Aldeyhyde    -CHO    formyl or oxo    ol    Ketone    >C=O    oxo    one    Nitrile    -C≡N    cyano    nitrile    Ether    -R-O-R-    alkoxy    -    Carboxylic acid    -COOH    carboxy    oic acid    Carboxylate ion    -COO -    -    oate    Ester    -COOR    alkoxycarbonyl    oate    Acyl halide    -COX(X=F,Cl,Br,I)    halocarbonyl    oyl halide    Amine    -NH 2,>NH,>N-    amino    amine    Amide    -CONH 2,-CONHR,-CONR 2    carbamoyl    amide    Nitro    -NO 2    nitro    -    Sulphonic acid    -SO 3H    sulpho    sulphonic acid

The steps to name compounds with functional groups are:

a)  Identify the functional group of the compound.


The functional group OH belongs to the class alcohol. As per the IUPAC system, the suffix for the alcohol group is ‘ol’.

b)      Number the longest chain which includes functional group.

c)      Assign a word root.
d)      Assign a primary suffix.
e)    Specify the position of the functional group.


f)     Some compounds have more than one functional group; they are known as poly-functional compounds, in such case priority given to principle functional group.



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