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Theory:Nomenclature:Branched Hydrocarbons

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Branched Alkanes

Rule #1: Modifiers are separated from the main branch using a pipeline character | and follow the same rules as mentioned earlier for methane and ethane.

Rule #2: For modifiers, if the superscript to the right is 1, it is omitted.

Rule #3: As your name adds atoms, tag the atoms (1,2,3,4...) as you go, including not only carbon but all atoms except hydrogen.

Rule #4: For modifiers, a subscript at the left of the C (or other symbol, to be discussed later) represents the atom #.

2-methylbutane

4 for longest chain; the pipeline denotes a modifier, in this case the methyl group on carbon #2.

Similar Branches

Rule #5: Similar branches can be named by listing their positions as subscripts before the center symbol (C), separated by commas (if two such groups come from the same, list them repetitively.)

2,5-dimethylhexane

Similar branches can be listed as one modifier.

Multiple Branches

Rule #6: In deciding which modifier comes first, larger branches and groups have higher priorities.

Rule #7: Treat each modifier the same: precede each modifier with a pipeline and place in order.

3-ethyl-2-methyl-heptane

Separate modifiers for separate branches. Note the superscript of 1 is omitted.

Nested Branches

Rule #8: Nested branches are also modifiers and should be treated as primary branches.

Tert-butylheptane

Twigs are added to branches in the same way that branches are added to the main branch.

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