Carboxylic Acid Nomenclature:

The carboxylic acid functional group is the highest priority functional group. The -COOH functional group can also be seen here molecularly:

nacd1.gif (1083 bytes)

When naming a group with a carboxylic functional group, you take the alkane name (for instance, butane), and drop the -ane and add -oic acid. So, butane would be butanoic acid. So name this compound:

nacd2.gif (1212 bytes)

This would be butanoic acid. Pretty easy. Try this one:

nacd3.gif (1261 bytes)

This is benzoic acid! See, carboxylic acids are pretty easy.


Historical Names

The hardest thing about acids is that a lot of them have "historic" names which have pattern. So here are some of them:

Structure IUPAC Name Historical Name
nacd4.gif (1082 bytes) Methanoic Acid Formic Acid
nacd5.gif (1122 bytes) Ethanoic Acid Acetic Acid
nacd6.gif (1167 bytes) Propanoic Acid Propionic Acid
nacd7.gif (1203 bytes) Butanoic Acid Butyric Acid
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