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Chemistry LibreTexts

Nomenclature of Nitriles

Name the parent alkane (include the carbon atom of the nitrile as part of the parent) followed with the word -nitrile. The carbon in the nitrile is given the #1 location position.  It is not necessary to include the location number in the name because it is assumed that the functional group will be on the end of the parent chain.


Cycloalkanes are followed by the word -carbonitrile. The substituent name is cyano.

  • 1-butanenitrile or 1-cyanopropane

Try to name the following compounds using these conventions�



Try to draw structures for the following compounds�

  • butanedinitrile J
  • 2-methycyclohexanecarbonitrile J


Some common names that you should know are...



Try to draw a structure for the following compound�

  • 2-methoxybenzonitrile J