Alcohol molecules all contain the hydroxyl (-OH) functional group. They are a homologous series and have the general formula CnH2n+1OH. Their names all end in -ol.
The rules for naming an alcohol are:
This simple alcohol molecule is called butan-2-ol.
The names, molecular and structural formulae of some straight chain alcohols are shown in the table below.
When naming branched chain alcohols, be careful to number the longest possible carbon chain first.
When writing the name, you follow the convention of using commas between numbers and dashes between numbers and words.