Naming Alcohols

Nomenclature Alcohols Video Tutorial Leah Fisch Organic ChemistryNaming Organic Compounds Series: Video 10
This naming alcohols tutorial video takes you through the steps of naming an organic compound containing a hydroxyl or ‘OH’ functional group. Examples include simple and substituted alcohols, saturated and cyclic alcohols.

(Watch on YouTube: Alcohols. Click CC on bottom right for transcript.)

<– Watch Previous Video: Naming Alkyl Halides
–> Watch Next Video: Naming Thiols

This is Video 10 in the Naming Organic Compounds Video Series. Click HERE for the entire series.

Need a review on Functional Groups? Watch the Functional Groups Video, Download the Cheat Sheet, then try the Quiz.

Looking for more in-depth videos on Alcohols? Check out the new Alcohol Video Series!


  1. Hi Leah!!
    Your videos are simply superb!!It’s making organic chemistry simpler for me.
    Well, in the video explaining bicyclic compounds, I think you said that numbering, starting from a bridgehead carbon, must be done in the direction having more number of carbon atoms. In this video(naming of alcohols) you mentioned that numbering must be done along the side which has -OH present according to the eg. provided by you(C-atoms are equal in number)
    Suppose -OH is to the side having less number of carbon atoms, how should the naming be done?


  2. Hi Leah,
    I have a question: for the molecule 3-pentene-2-ol, my teacher would name it a different way. He would name it 2-pent-3-enol where the 2 indicates the OH and the bond position is shoved inside. Which way is right?

    • I’m not saying he’s wrong, but I don’t think that’s right. 3-enol doesn’t tell me if 3 is ‘ene’ or ‘ol’

  3. Great videos! If you could make a list of the priorities for numbering given to all bonds (double,triple), substituents, and functional groups, that would be great!

    • Leah4sci says

      That’s a great idea Chris. I don’t know when I’ll have it done but I think this is a great idea for a cheat sheet

  4. the alcohol has priority during the numbering of the carbons, but not during the naming? why don’t both of the suffixes go at the end making: pent-3-ene-2-ol?

    great videos by the way easy to understand and follow, though quizzes for each major group of topics would be the bomb <3

    • I don’t fully understand your question. Pent-3-ene-2-ol sounds right but for what molecule? And thanks on the videos. As for quizzes they take hours to put together so I do that sporadically

  5. Hi Leah,

    Thanks for all these video’s! I have one question, at 3:54 you say the alcohol has higher priority than the double bond (ene), why is this?

    Thanks 🙂

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