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?

enter image description here


1 Answer 1


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.

  • $\begingroup$ So straight chain parent groups aren't necessarily favored and this rule always dominates? $\endgroup$
    – imaginov
    May 10, 2015 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, 2015 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, 2015 at 12:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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