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MCAT Organic Chemistry Question — Amine Molecules

Which of the following, heterocyclic amine and/or secondary amine, best describes the molecule shown below?

amine molecule

  1. Heterocyclic amine only
  2. Secondary amine only
  3. Both heterocyclic amine and secondary amine
  4. Neither heterocyclic amine nor secondary amine
Click for Explanation

Secondary amines follow the chemical formula R-NH-R’; heterocyclic amines include cyclic ring structures with nitrogen incorporated into ring. In the molecule shown above, nitrogen is situated within the ring structure making this a heterocyclic amine. Since the nitrogen within the aromatic ring is attached to two R groups, this is also considered a secondary amine. Recall that amines are designated primary, secondary, tertiary, or quaternary based on how many R groups to which the nitrogen is directly attached, whereas this designation for alcohols and alkyl halides depends on the substitution of the carbon to which the hydroxyl or halide is attached. Therefore, C is the correct answer.

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