IUPAC vs Common naming

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martha-1I
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:02 pm

IUPAC vs Common naming

Postby martha-1I » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:33 pm

When it comes to naming, are we required to know both the common names and IUPAC names for molecules and structures or can we chose our preference and just name using our preferred system of naming?

Chem_Mod
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Re: IUPAC vs Common naming

Postby Chem_Mod » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:59 pm

Either name is acceptable on an exam. If you forgot one, you can just put down the other. Generally common names are used for small and common molecules, while IUPAC name is constructed for highly substituted/branched long molecules, etc.

There are some common names that are so pervasive that we never use the IUPAC systematic name even though it is correct anyways. Some examples you have likely heard of before, with the IUPAC name in parentheses:
Acetone (Propanone) - nail polish remover
Formaldehyde (Methanal) - used to preserve organs
Chloroform (Trichloromethane) - notoriously used by criminals to render victims unconscious from the fumes


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