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Summary Tables for Naming Carbon Compounds

TABLE 1: Prefixes for naming carbon chains

Prefix meth eth prop but pent hex hept oct non dec
Number of Carbon
atoms in the chain
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

TABLE 2: Hydrocarbons: compounds which contain only carbon and hydrogen

Type of Compound Prefix Suffix Functional Group Example Name
Alkyl group
(side-chain or branch)
see TABLE 1 -yl Alkane less 1 terminal hydrogen ethyl

Alkane see TABLE 1 -ane contains single bonds between carbon atoms ethane

Alkene see TABLE 1 -ene contains a double bond between 2 carbon atoms ethene

Alkyne see TABLE 1 -yne contains a triple bond between 2 carbon atoms ethyne

Cyclic Hydrocarbons cyclo -ane, -ene or -yne
(as above)
carbon atoms form a ring cyclopropane

TABLE 3: Compounds containing carbon, hydrogen and oxygen

Class of Compound Suffix Functional Group General Formula Example Name
(alkyl alcohol)
R-OH ethanol
(ethyl alcohol)

R-CHO ethanal

R-CO-R' propanone

Alkanoic acid
(carboxylic acid)
-oic acid
R-COOH ethanoic acid

Ester alkyl -anoate R-COO-R' methyl ethanoate

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