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Is the correct name for the following structure 3-tert-butylhexane or 3-ethyl-2,2-dimethylhexane?

I think it is 3-tert-butylhexane, but the textbook says it is 3-ethyl-2,2-dimethylhexane. Can someone please explain?

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According to IUPAC (source):

2.6 - If chains of equal length are competing for selection as main chain in a saturated branched acyclic hydrocarbon, then the choice goes in series to:
(a) The chain which has the greatest number of side chains.

Therefore the correct name is 3-ethyl-2,2-dimethylhexane as opposed to 3-tert-butylhexane because the former has more side chains.

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  • $\begingroup$ So straight chain parent groups aren't necessarily favored and this rule always dominates? $\endgroup$ – imaginov May 10 '15 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ The parent name is always a straight chain (hexane in this example). The source I gave has the full list of rules for naming if you are still confused. $\endgroup$ – bon May 11 '15 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ That makes sense. I did more practice problems and have understood nomenclature a little better. Thanks for your help. $\endgroup$ – imaginov May 11 '15 at 12:13

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