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3.4 Naming Alcohols, Ethers, and Amines

Lesson Summary

When naming alcohols, we follow the rules for naming alkanes, except:

  • 1. The parent chain is now the longest chain that has the hydroxyl group, even if there are longer carbon chains available.
  • 2. Number the carbon chain in the direction that gives the smallest number to the carbon bonded to the hydroxyl group.
  • 3. Hydroxyl groups are higher priority than cycloalkanes, amines, alkenes, ethers, and alkyl halides, so they must be numbered according to the lowest-number carbon that is bonded to the hydroxyl group.
  • 4. Change suffix “-e” to “-ol”.

When naming ethers:

  • 1. Name the two alkyl groups as substituents with “ether” at the end:

  • 2. Consider the longest carbon chain to be the parent chain and the alkoxy group to be a substituent:

When naming primary amines, add the suffix “amine” to the name of the organic substituent.

Symmetrical and secondary amines are named by adding “di-” or “tri-” to the alkyl group: