A Conversation for Esters

peardrops, -yl-ate

Post 1

Sea Change

What are peardrops?

Is it known why IUPAC left the ester name alone and didn't alkylate it?

Do chemists give each other any punctuational, font, or symbolic help in figuring out just where the -yl and the -ate are in (potentially quite long) names, or do you need to keep an eagle eye and a mind for diagramming sentences?

peardrops, -yl-ate

Post 2


I've seen them refered to as alkyl alkanoates before now. Mind you, I get the feeling that alkanols for alcohols, etc was a step too far and the new names are being asserted less vigorously these days.

Incidentally: secondary and tertiary alcohols also form esters.

peardrops, -yl-ate

Post 3

BigAl Patron Saint of Left Handers Keeper of the Glowing Pickle and Monobrows

Yes, I was taught 'alkyl alkanoates' for the group of esters. However, I now teach Salters 'A' Level chemistry, and this uses a hybrid of the two naming systems. Thus the Group names are Alcohols, Carboxylic Acids, Aldehydes, Ketones, Esters, Ethers etc, whereas the chemicals are named according to IUPAC systematic e.g. Butanol, Butanoic Acid,, Butanal, Butanone, Methylbutanoate, methoxybutane etc smiley - grr (I find it an anathema to have to teach the non-systematic nomenclature.

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