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What is the $\ce{OH}$ functional group in alcohol (ethanol)? My teacher told me it isn't the same as the $\ce{OH-}$ ion or hydroxide.
But it does donate one electron to the respective carbon chain and it's very tempting to say it's hydroxide as it fits perfectly into the role. What exactly is it?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hydroxyl group, not hydroxide, though I'm not the one that gave -1. $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Jan 12 '15 at 17:00
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You could call ethyl alcohol "ethyl hydroxide" analogously to "sodium hydroxide". But it is a poor analogy, since (unlike NaOH) ethyl alcohol is not an ionic compound, does not dissociate in water to form ethyl cation and hydroxide anion, and does not raise the pH when dissolved in water.

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Well, I don’t understand what you are trying to ask.

But the $\ce{OH}$ you are bothered about can be thought exactly as that of $\ce{OH}$ of water ($\ce{H2O}$)

$\ce{C2H5-OH}$ in the same way as $\ce{H-OH}$

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