The most important element in organic chemistry is

carbon, C

Also important, but second by far, are

hydrogen, H
oxygen, O
nitrogen, N
sulphur, S
phosphorus, P
chlorine, Cl

The most important type of chemical bond in organic chemistry is the covalent (electron pair) bond. As a rule, the following numbers of bonds are formed:

carbon 4 bonds  
hydrogen 1 bond  
oxygen 2 bonds  
nitrogen 3 bonds  
sulphur 2 bonds (also 6 bonds, etc.)
phosphorus 3 bonds (also 5 bonds)
chlorine 1 bond  

Some elements may form single, double or triple bonds. The most important examples are carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen.

When forming single bonds, carbon uses sp³-hybrid orbitals; with double bonds, sp²-hybrid oribitals; and with triple bonds, sp-hybrid orbitals.

The most important types of reaction in organic chemistry are

Organic compounds are grouped according to certain structural particulars.

Hydrocarbons are made up of carbon and hydrogen only. They are divided up according to the bonds they contain.

  alkanes: single bonds only, char. suffix -ane
alkanes: one double bond at least, char. suffix -ene
alkanes: one triple bond at least, char. suffix -yne
ring systems of the benzene type, char. suffix -ene

Oxygen-containing compounds
are, among others,

Nitrogen-containing compounds
are, among others,

Sulphur-containing compounds
are, among others,

A reaction is called a condensation reaction, if two molecules combine to form a third one, releasing a small fourth molecule (usually water).

There are three important types of condensation reactions with carboxylic acids.

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