Rule 1. Ethers can be named as alkoxy derivatives of alkanes (substitutive IUPAC nomenclature). The longest chain is taken as the main chain and the alkoxide is named as a substituent.

ethers nomenclature 01
[1] Methoxyethane
[2] Ethoxyethane
[3] 1-Methoxybutane
[4] 2-Methoxypentane
[5] 1-Ethoxy-3-methylcyclohexane

Rule 2. Functional nomenclature (IUPAC) names ethers as derivatives of two alkyl groups, arranged alphabetically, ending the name in the word ether.

ethers nomenclature 02

[6] Ethyl methyl ether
[7] Diethyl ether
[8] Butyl methyl ether
[9] Methyl pent-2-yl ether
[10] Ethyl 3-methylcyclohexyl ether  

Rule 3. Cyclic ethers are formed by substituting -CH2- for -O- in a cycle. The numbering begins with oxygen and they are named with the prefix oxa- followed by the name of the cycle.


ethers nomenclature 03
[11] Oxacyclopropane
[12] Oxacyclobutane
[13] 2-Bromooxacyclopentane
[14] 3-Methyloxacyclohexane