Chemical class

Group

Formula

Graphical Formula

Prefix

Suffix

Example

Acyl halide

Haloformyl

RCOX

haloformyl-

-oyl halide Acetyl chloride (Ethanoyl chloride)

Alcohol

Hydroxyl

OH

hydroxy-

-ol Methanol

Aldehyde

Aldehyde

RCHO

oxo-

-al :Acetaldehyde (Ethanal)

Alkane

Alkyl

RHn

alkyl-

-ane

Methane

Alkene

Alkenyl

R2C=CR2

alkenyl-

-ene Ethylene (Ethene)

Alkyne

Alkynyl

RC≡CR'

alkynyl-

-yne

Acetylene (Ethyne)

Amide

Carboxamide

RCONR2

carboxamido-

-amide Acetamide (Ethanamide)

Amines

Primary amine

RNH2

amino-

-amine Methylamine (Methanamine)

Secondary amine

R2NH

amino-

-amine Dimethylamine

Tertiary amine

R3N

amino-

-amine Trimethylamine

4° ammonium ion

R4N+

ammonio-

-ammonium Choline

Azo compound

Azo (Diimide)

RN2R'

azo-

-diazene Methyl orange

Toluene derivative

Benzyl

RCH2C6H5 RBn

benzyl-

1-(substituent)toluene Benzyl bromide (1-Bromotoluene)

Carbonate

Carbonate ester

ROCOOR

alkyl carbonate

Carboxylate

Carboxylate

RCOO−

carboxy-

-oate Sodium acetate (Sodium ethanoate)

Carboxylic acid

Carboxyl

RCOOH

carboxy-

-oic acid Acetic acid (Ethanoic acid)

Cyanate Cyanates Thiocyanate

ROCN

cyanato-

alkyl cyanate

RSCN

thiocyanato-

alkyl thiocyanate

Ether

Ether

ROR'

alkoxy-

alkyl alkyl ether

Diethyl ether (Ethoxyethane)

Ester

Ester

RCOOR'

-oate

Ethyl butyrate (Ethyl butanoate)

Haloalkane

Halo

RX

halo-

alkyl halide Chloroethane

(Ethyl chloride) Hydroperoxide (see organic peroxide)

Hydroperoxy

ROOH

hydroperoxy-

alkyl hydroperoxide Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide

Primary ketimine

RC(=NH)R'

imino-

-imine

Secondary ketimine Imine Primary aldimine

RC(=NR)R'

imino-

-imine

RC(=NH)H

imino-

-imine

Secondary aldimine

RC(=NR')H

imino-

-imine

Isocyanide

Isocyanide Isocyanate

RNC RNCO

isocyanoisocyanato-

alkyl isocyanide alkyl isocyanate

Isocyanates Isothiocyanate RNCS isothiocyanatoalkyl isothiocyanate Allyl isothiocyanate

Ketone

Ketone

RCOR'

keto-, oxo-

-one Methyl ethyl ketone (Butanone)

Nitrile

Nitrile

RCN

cyano-

alkanenitrile alkyl cyanide Benzonitrile (Phenyl cyanide)

Nitro compound

Nitro

RNO2

nitroNitromethane

Nitroso compound

Nitroso

RNO

nitrosoNitrosobenzene

Peroxide

Peroxy

ROOR

peroxy-

alkyl peroxide Di-tert-butyl peroxide

Benzene derivative

Phenyl

RC6H5

phenyl-

-benzene

Cumene (2-phenylpropane)

Phosphine

Phosphino

R3P

phosphino-

-phosphane Methylpropylphosphane

Phosphodiester

Phosphate

HOPO(OR)2

phosphoric acid di(substituent) ester

di(substituent) hydrogenphosphate

DNA

Phosphonic acid

Phosphono

RP(=O)(OH)2

phosphono-

substituent phosphonic acid Benzylphosphonic acid

Phosphate

Phosphate

ROP(=O)(OH)2

phosphoGlyceraldehyde 3phosphate 4-pyridyl (pyridin-4-yl)

Pyridine derivative

Pyridyl

RC5H4N

3-pyridyl (pyridin-3-yl)

-pyridine Nicotine

2-pyridyl (pyridin-2-yl) Sulfide RSR' di(substituent) sulfide Dimethyl sulfide

Sulfone

Sulfonyl

RSO2R'

sulfonyl-

di(substituent) sulfone Dimethyl sulfone

(Methylsulfonylmethane)

Sulfonic acid

Sulfo

RSO3H

sulfo-

substituent sulfonic acid Benzenesulfonic acid

Sulfoxide

Sulfinyl

RSOR'

sulfinyl-

di(substituent) sulfoxide Diphenyl sulfoxide

Thiol

Sulfhydryl

RSH

mercapto-, sulfanyl-

-thiol

Ethanethiol (Ethyl mercaptan)

These are possible mnemonics for the common functional groups. Vowels: Remember the vowels "A", "E", and "Y" for Alkane, Alkene, and Alkyne. Alkanes have only single covalent bonds. Alkenes have at least one double bond. Alkynes have at least one triple bond. The letters "I", "O", and "U" are not used. Furthermore, "O" and "U" would result in awkward pronunciations. Alcohol: Look for the "C-O-H" in "Alcohol." Ether: Ethers were anesthetics used in the 1800s. Dr. Kellogg also lived at the same time. Corn Flakes are made by Kellogg's. A rooster or cock (C-O-C) is the cornflake mascot. Amine: Remember the "N" stands for nitrogen. Aldehyde: This sounds like "Adelaide," the Australian city. Australia is at the end of the Asian islands, and aldehydes are at the end of the hydrocarbon chain. The "Y" indicates a C=O double bond.

Ketone: Imagine the diagonal strokes of "K" forming the C=O double bond. Carboxylic Acid: "Box" stands for boxed wine or C-O-H, alcohol. The "Y" indicates a C=O double bond. Ester: This sounds like "Estelle" George Costanza's mother in the TV show Seinfeld. George's nickname was Koko or Coco. So think of O=C-OC. Amide: Amine with a "D". D for double.