Class 12 Chemistry Amines Classification of Amines as Primary, Secondary & Tertiary

Classification of Amines as Primary, Secondary & Tertiary

  • Amines are classified as primary (1o), secondary (2o) and tertiary (3o) depending upon the number of hydrogen atoms replaced by alkyl or aryl groups in ammonia molecule.
  • If one hydrogen atom of ammonia is replaced by R or Ar, we get RNH2 or ArNH2, a primary amine (1o).
  • If two hydrogen atoms of ammonia or one hydrogen atom of R-NH2 are replaced by another alkyl/aryl (R’) group then it is called as secondary amine.
  • The second alkyl/aryl group may be same or different.
  • Replacement of another hydrogen atom by alkyl/aryl group leads to the formation of tertiary amine.



  • Amines are said to be ‘simple’ when all the alkyl or aryl groups are the same, and ‘mixed’ when they are different.



Classify the following amines as primary, secondary or tertiary:



  • It is a primary amine because only 1 hydrogen is replaced if we compare this structure with ammonia.
  • It is a tertiary amine as all the 3 hydrogen is replaced.
  • It is a primary amine as only 1 hydrogen is replaced.

 It is a secondary amine as 2 hydrogens are

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