We’ve learned about molecules with single bonds. We’ve learned about molecules with double bonds. We both know what comes next. The last major category of molecules we’re going to learn about in this course, the alkynes. Alkynes are any molecules that feature a triple bond. In a alkyne featuring only carbons and hydrogens, there will be n-2 hydrogen atoms, with n being the number of carbon atoms.

Of course, since we’re learning about a new category of molecule, there are going to be some new rules associated with naming. Luckily, learning these rules won’t be too different than learning the alkene naming rules.

What you need to know about alkynes

Of course, the first thing you should learn is nomenclature. This shouldn’t take too long because of its similarity to alkene nomenclature, with only minor variations. Next up, you’ve got to learn new reactions because there are some reactions that are unique to alkynes. Make sure you understand electrophilic addition and hydroboration- oxidation and reduction. Finally, when doing NMRs involving alkynes, there’s a slight difference. Since the triple bond is so short, interactions between Hydrogen atoms can break the 3-bond rule. Basically, when counting bonds, don’t even count the triple bond as a bond because of the short distance- the hydrogens can interact up to four bonds away if one of those bonds is a triple bond.

7 Curated Resources

Alkyne Nomenclature

free, Guide with practice problems

This article is a pretty good summary of all the rules that apply to naming alkynes. The rules aren’t too different from naming alkenes, but there are slight variations to know.


free, Article

Here’s one more source for nomenclature. This is the same one that was in the alkane section but it has the rules for alkynes as well so it’s worth using.


free, Guide

This gives a really good overview of everything you’ll need to know about alkynes broken down into a couple sections.

Reactions of Alkynes

free, Article

Here’s an overview of the key reactions you’ll need to know that apply specifically to alkynes. These are going to be incredibly important for synthesis problems.

Alkyne Reactions

free, Videos

This is Khan Academy’s section on alkynes and various reactions.

Synthesis is a super important skill in Organic Chemistry, so make sure to learn how to go about solving problems like these.

Here’s one more resource regarding synthesis because this topic needs a good amount of attention and lots of practice before you master it.