It is a good idea to have a general idea of the structure of the different amino acids and to be able to recognize them as amino acids. You are not expected to memorize these structures. Often I say the name of amino acids and not all students understand that I am talking about an amino acid. Each amino acid differs only by its side group, which is circled in red in each figure below. Also, the more familiar you become with chemical structures, the more prepared you will be for later classes.
Figure 2.261 Essential amino acids
You may hear someone talk about the branch chain amino acids, which are all essential amino acids, but they are singled out in the figure below.
Figure 2.262 Branched chain amino acids
Figure 2.263 Conditionally essential amino acids
Figure 2.264 Nonessential amino acids
References & Links