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Basic IUPAC Organic Nomenclature


3D structure
Functional class = alkyl cyanide

Functional group suffix = nitrile or -onitrile

Substituent prefix = cyano-

Notes :
  • The cyano prefix is used in a very similar manner to haloalkanes
  • The cyano nomenclature is most common when the alkyl group is simple.
  • The nitrile suffix is used in a very similar manner to carboxylic acids.

Cyano substituent style:
Nitrile style:
Cyano substituent style:
  • Functional group is an alkane, therefore suffix = -ane
  • The longest continuous chain is C3 therefore root = prop
  • The substituent is a -CN therefore prefix = cyano
  • The first point of difference rule requires numbering from the right as drawn, the substituent locant is 1-

Nitrile style:
  • Functional group is a -C≡N, therefore suffix = -nitrile
  • Hydrocarbon structure is an alkane therefore -ane
  • The longest continuous chain is C4 therefore root = but




organic chemistry ©Dr. Ian Hunt, Department of Chemistry University of Calgary