Alkenes are hydrocarbons that contain one or more double bonds, while alkynes contain one or more triple bonds. The naming conventions for these compounds are similar to those for alkanes.

Alkene and alkyne compounds are named by identifying the longest carbon chain that contains both carbons of the double or triple bond. This longest chain is named by the alkane series convention: “eth-” for two carbons; “prop-” for three carbons; “but-” for four carbons; etc. The carbon backbone is numbered from the end that yields the lowest positioning for the double or triple bond.

Substituents are added to the name as prefixes to the longest chain. Rotation is restricted around the double bond, so prefixes can be added to differentiate stereo isomers. Cis or trans is used to indicate whether higher priority substituents are located on the same or opposite sides of the bond. If the compound is cyclic, this information is noted by adding the “cyclo-” prefix.

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