I have read that the word Vinyl and Acryl, both refer to the same group.

The difference is that Acryl is used for naming when the functional group attached itself contains a carbon atom while Vinyl is used in the other case.

Then why is the name of the following compound:

enter image description here

Vinyl Acetate and not Acryl Acetate?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Vinyl is CH2=CH- while acryl is CH2=CH-C. So, vinyl acetate is correct; acryl acetate is not. CH2=CHCN is acrylonitrile (a nitrile is a triple-bonded nitrogen) or, in principle, vinyl cyanide. I heard a story that a chemical company tried to ship a tank car of vinyl cyanide but it was prohibited because "cyanides are toxic". It shipped without difficulty as acrylonitrile. See also, acrylic acid, acrylamide and methyl acrylate. $\endgroup$
    – user55119
    Oct 13 '18 at 15:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I saw your answer just after I commented. The point is there are no hydrogens on the bare carbon otherwise we would be using the term "allyl". All of our examples have no hydrogens on the bare carbon. $\endgroup$
    – user55119
    Oct 13 '18 at 15:52

Your question is mistaken, vinyl and “acryl” are not the same (and the latter standalone name even does not mean anything in IUPAC nomenclature, it's like “acet” in ‘acetyl‘/‘acetic’). See the following structures (preferred IUPAC names/prefixes are in boldface).


prop-2-enoic acid
acrylic acid



vinyl acrylate
ethenyl prop-2-enoate

(But now I understand that one might somehow deduce from some structures that the vinyl component is named acryl.. and there even might be some historic reasons, which I'm currently not aware of.)


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.