The suffix -ol appears in the
IUPAC chemical name of all substances where the hydroxyl group is the functional group with the highest priority; in substances where a higher priority group is present the prefix hydroxy- will appear in the
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) name. The suffix -ol in non-systematic names (such as
cholesterol) also typically indicates that the substance includes a hydroxyl functional group and, so, can be termed an alcohol. But many substances, particularly sugars (examples
sucrose) contain hydroxyl functional groups without using the suffix. An important class of alcohols, of which
methanol and ethanol are the simplest members is the
saturated straight chain alcohols, the general formula for which is CnH2n+1OH.