of the most common alcohols are represented above. The traditional
names methyl, ethyl, propyl, and butyl alcohols are familiar, but
"amyl" alcohol instead of "pentyl" for the five-carbon
alcohol is an historical oddity. From hexyl alcohol on, the Greek
numerical prefixes are used. In the systematic nomenclature, alcohols
are identified by a single name ending in "-ol", beginning
with methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol, pentanol, hexanol, and
continuing with the Greek prefix for the number of
in the longest carbon chain that can be traced through the molecule.
The position of the -OH group is identified by the number of the
carbon atom to which it is attached. Thus n-propyl alcohol
(above) is 1-propanol in the systematic naming, and isopropyl alcohol
is 2-propanol because the -OH group is attached to the second carbon
atom in the chain.