Let’s name those organic suckers (compounds)!

Do you get overwhelmed when it comes to naming organic compounds? Or do you get excited and accept the challenge of naming them?

When I was young(er), I used to dread naming them. Couldn’t be bothered spending time learning the rules (they always seem endless and filled with lots of surprises/exceptions). It was much easier to brush it off claiming it’s not important and will not come in handy. Well … that worked for a while until I chose Chemistry as my major in undergraduate and later turned it into my career! Ha! Time to get serious and learn to name those suckers. Many organic compounds later… It’s actually very exciting once you figure out the basics.

I do empathize with anyone who is facing the same lack of love for naming compounds using IUPAC name as I used to be in the same shoes. Would you believe me if I say you can pick up the basics of naming all the 13 functional groups in less than 20 minutes? To be clear, I am referring to naming mostly simple (unbranched) organic compounds here. After all, we need to first build a solid foundation. Baby steps. Get your pen and paper ready!


Ready to test your skills? Here are 3 practice sets. Note: The structures are drawn in skeletal form. Check out here(blog post) or here (video) if you need a quick refresher.

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