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I think it's that alcohols are specifically R-OH while hydroxyl groups can be other things that aren't carbon chains. For example water (H-OH)! (Or NaOH and KOH, etc.) We didn't cover this in class, but in regards to naming, we've been adding the suffix -ol to name molecules with an alcohol functional group. However, for compounds with multiple functional groups, we would first identify the functional group with the highest priority and then name the other functional groups as substituents. So sometimes we may name the alcohol functional group with the prefix hydroxy- if another functional group has a higher priority than alcohol. That is, we name the alcohol functional group with the prefix hydroxy- when other functional groups have a higher priority and get the suffix name. I hope this helps!
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