Basic Organic Nomenclature

An Introduction

Dave Woodcock,
Associate Professor Emeritus UBC (Okanagan)
©1996,2000, 2008

1. The IUPAC Systematic Approach
II. The Root Names

Index


The root name for an organic compound indicates the number of carbon atoms in the longest continuous chain of carbon atoms containing the functional group. Thus the root name is a code which tells the number of carbons.

This code must be memorized!

Note that from 5 carbons on the root name is derived from the Greek name for the number. The following table gives the beginning of this code:

Root names in the IUPAC nomenclature system.
Number of
Carbon Atoms
Root Name
1meth
2eth
3prop
4but
5pent
6hex
7hept
8oct
9non
10dec
11undec
12dodec
13tridec
14tetradec
15pentadec
20icos
21henicos
22docos
30triacont
40tetracont
Self-study questions
Next page: Alkanes

Index


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