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In addition to carbon and hydrogen, hydrocarbons can also contain other elements . In fact, many common groups of atoms can occur within organic molecules , these groups of atoms are called functional groups. One good example is the hydroxyl functional group. The hydroxyl group consists of a single oxygen atom bound to a single hydrogen atom (-OH). The group of hydrocarbons that contain a hydroxyl functional group is called alcohols . The alcohols are named in a similar fashion to the simple hydrocarbons, a prefix is attached to a root ending (in this case "anol") that designates the alcohol. The existence of the functional group completely changes the chemical properties of the molecule. Ethane, the two-carbon alkane, is a gas at room temperature; ethanol, the two-carbon alcohol, is a liquid .