Esters come from condensing acids with alcohols and are named as salts of the acid from which they come. IUPAC nomenclature changes the -oic ending of the acid to -oate , ending with the name of the alkyl group attached to the oxygen.

esters nomenclature 1


[1] Methyl methanoate

[2] Methyl ethanoate

[3] Ethyl propanoate

[4] Methyl butanoate

Esters are priority groups over amines, alcohols, ketones, aldehydes, nitriles, amides, and alkanoyl halides. These groups are named as substituents with the ester being the functional group.


esters nomenclature 2

[5] Methyl 3-hydroxybutanoate

[6] Ethyl 3-hydroxy-4-methyl-6-oxohexanoate


Carboxylic acids and anhydrides have priority over esters, which are named as substituents ( alkoxycarbonyl..... )


esters nomenclature 3

[7] 5-Methoxycarbonylpentanoic acid

[8] 5-Methoxycarbonylpentanoic acid

When the ester group is attached to a ring, the ring is named as the main chain and the ending -alkylcarboxylate is used to name the ester.


esters nomenclature 4

[9] Methyl Benzenecarboxylate (Methyl Benzoate)

[10] Ethyl 4-Bromo-3-methylcyclohexanecarboxylate