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Organic Compounds: Nomenclature-General Rules

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Organic Compounds: Nomenclature-General Rules - Lesson Summary

The system of assigning a name to a compound is known as nomenclature. There are two systems for naming organic compounds
  • Common or trivial system 
  • IUPAC system

The trivial names are given on the basis of the source and certain properties of organic compounds.
Ex: Citric acid is named, as it is found in citrus fruits.

In the year 1947 the IUPAC that is the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry system of naming compounds was first developed.

The IUPAC system is a systematic nomenclature in which the name of a compound correlates to its molecular structure.

The IUPAC name of an organic compound consists of three parts the word root, the suffix and the prefix.

The word root indicates the number of Carbon atoms present in the selected longest chain.

Ex:        Name of the
      Carbon Atoms
      Root Word                C 1     Meth                C 2     Eth                C 3      Prop                C 4      But                C 5      Pent                C 6      Hex                C 7      Hept                C 8      Oct                C 9      Non                C 10      Dec
A primary suffix is added to the end of the root word. It indicates whether a compound is saturated (or) unsaturated.

The three primary suffixes are, “ane” for alkane, “ene” for alkene and “yne” for alkyne.

A primary prefix is used to differentiate acyclic and cyclic compounds. But the rules for using these are slightly different.

Ex: In cyclic compounds, the prefix cyclo is added before the word root.

A secondary suffix indicates the nature of the functional group present in a compound.    Organic Compound    Functional Group    Secondary Suffix    Alcohols   -OH   -ol    Aldehydes   -CHO   -al    Ketones   >CO   -one   Carboxylic acid   -COOH   -oic aid   Acid amides   -CONH 2   -amide   Acid chlorides   -COCl   -oyl chloride   Esters   -COOR   -alkyl...oate   Cyanides   -CN   -nitrile   Thioalcohols   -SH   -thiol   Amines   -NH 2   -amine

In the IUPAC system some groups are not considered as functional groups, they treated as substituent groups. In such cases, the substituent acts as the secondary prefix


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