Nomenclature preference

  • #1
5-ethyl-4-methyloctane. Why can't we name this compound as
4-ethyl-5-methyloctane?
 

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  • #2
TeethWhitener
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Practically, it makes no difference. Any chemist would know what molecule you're referring to. Technically (and I mean that in the worst possible way) the correct name according to IUPAC rules is 4-ethyl-5-methyloctane, because "ethyl" comes before "methyl" alphabetically, so "ethyl" gets a lower number assigned to it than "methyl".
 
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