When it comes to naming organic compounds, a molecule with a single functional group is easy. Simply follow the puzzle piece approach to naming organic compounds.
What happens when you have more than one functional group present on the molecule?
That’s where this Functional Group Priority cheat sheet (scroll down) comes in. Find the highest priority group and make that your ‘functional group’. The lower priority groups get ‘demoted’ to a substituent with regards to naming rules.
Once you get the hang of it, try your skills with the Functional Groups Quiz!
What to Look For:
The higher the oxidation number of the group, the higher it tends to rank. In simple terms, a functional group with MORE bonds to oxygen will outrank one with fewer bonds.
For example: Carboxylic acid = 3 > ketone = 2 > alcohol = 1 > bromine = 0
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