Amides are named as derivatives of carboxylic acids by substituting the -oic ending of the acid for -amide .

amides1 nomenclature

[1] Methanamide

[2] Ethanamide

[3] N-Methylpropanamide

[3] N,N-Dimethylbutanamide

a) Amides can be obtained by reacting amines with alkanoyl halides and anhydrides .

Ethanoyl chloride reacts with two equivalents of methylamine to form ethanamide.
The second equivalent of amine is used to collect the hydrochloric acid and favor the equilibria.
Ethanoic anhydride reacts with ammonia to form ethanamine and ethanoic acid.

Lactams are cyclic amides obtained by condensation, with loss of water, of a molecule containing acid and amino groups.

4-(aminomethyl)butanoic acid [1] condenses under heating to form N-methylpyrrolidin-2-one [2] , a polar aprotic solvent.

Imides are compounds that contain two acyl groups attached to a nitrogen by single bonds. Succinimide and Phthalimide are well known.


Amides hydrolyze in acidic media, under heating, forming amines and carboxylic acids.


Ethanamide hydrolyzes in a sulfuric medium to form ethanoic acid .

The amides are transformed into amines and carboxylic acids by treatment with aqueous soda under heating.

Ethanamide hydrolyzes in the presence of aqueous soda to form sodium ethanoate.

The amides have acidic hydrogens of Pka = 15 on the nitrogen atom. Deprotonation of the amino generates a resonance stabilized base, called amidate.


The amides present acidic hydrogens of Pka = 30 on the carbon a . Deprotonation of the a position generates a resonance stabilized base, called the amide enolate.

Diisobutyl aluminum hydride (DIBAL) reduces amides to aldehydes


Amides are transformed into amines with one less carbon, when treated with bromine in basic solution.

Acetamide [1] reacts with bromine in a basic medium, transforming into methylamine [2] with the loss of carbon dioxide.