What is the structural difference between ketones and ethers?

Expert Answers
sanjeetmanna eNotes educator| Certified Educator


Any class of organic compound characterized by the presence of a carbonyl group in which the carbon atom is covalently bounded by an oxygen atom and other two bond are attached to the Hydrocarbon radical.

Ketone formula R-C(=O)-R'



any class of organic compounds characterized by an oxygen atom bounded to two alkyl group.

Ether formula R-O-R'


Thus the main difference between Ketons and Ethers will be, in Ketons the Alkyl groups are attached to the centre carbon atom which in turn attached to a double bonded oxygen. Where as in ethers the alkyl goup is attached to the centre Oxygen atom.

(As shown above)


trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A ketone is an organic compound. It has a carboxyl group bonded to two other carbon atoms. It has a general formula of CnH2n0. Acetone, a solvent, is an excellent example of an important ketone. The structure that represents a ketone is RC(=))R'. Ether is another organic compound with an ether group an oxygen atom connected to two alkyl or aryl groups. Its general formula can be represented by    R-0-R'. Ether is used as an anesthetic or as a solvent. Carbon-oxygen-carbon linkage in either has a bond angle of 104.5 degrees. There are  two types of ethers--simple ethers or symmetrical and mixed ethers or asymmetrical.

biditism | Student

the structure of a aldehyde is     X-C-H




where X is hydrogen or carbon containing group(other than NH2,halogens etc)


the structure of a ketone is        X-C-X'




where X and X' are hydrogen or carbon containing group(other than NH2,halogens etc). X and X' may or maynot be same.


Thus the major difference is just the presence or absece of hydrogen on the carbonyl group. It is to be noted that aldehyde group is always found in the terminal acrbon and ketone on non terminal carbon



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