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Nomenclature of organic  compound-

There as two system  of nomenclature of organic compounds-

(i) Trivial system

(ii) IUPAC System

Trivial System-

This is the oldest system of naming organic compounds. Trivial system of organic  compounds are not based on any rule. These  names are given to the  organic  compounds  on the basis of their source or their specific property


  1. Methane was named as marsh gas because it was produced in marshy areas by the decay of plants & trees. It was also named as fire damp as it forms explosive mixture with air.
  2.  Formic Acid was named as it was obtained by the fractional distillation  of  red ants. The greek word for red ants in formicus.
  3.  Methyl Alcohol is obtained by the destructive distillation of wood. Hence it was named as ‘Wood spirit”.
  4.  Acetic acid is obtained from vinegar (acetum or sirka ). Hence it was named as Acetic Acid

Demerits  of  Trivial System  of Nomenclature-

  1. Today  a large number  of organic compounds are known  so  it is very difficult to give  trivial name to each compound .
  2. The trivial name of an organic compound does not give any information about its structure.
  3. The same organic  compound may have more than one trivial names.

IUPAC  System of nomenclature –

This is the modern system of nomenclature of organic  compounds approved by the “International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry” 

Merits of  IUPAC  System –

  1. This is a simple, systematic & scientific system of nomenclature of organic compounds .
  2. The IUPAC name of an organic  compound  gives all the information about its structure.
  3. The structural formula of an organic  compound can be formed by its  IUPAC  name
  4. The name of complex organic  compounds can be easily written by the  IUPAC  System.