Abstract The use of partially ethylated alditol acetates for the analysis by gas-liquid chromatography of the components of polysaccharides, and the glycosidic linkages of these components, is described. The derivatives are prepared by procedures analogous to those for the synthesis of partially methylated alditol acetates. Derivatization requires two successive ethylations and more-strenuous conditions of hydrolysis and reduction than for the methyl analogs. The partially ethylated alditol acetates are formed in nearly quantitative yield and give single, sharp peaks on gas chromatography. Retention-time data, relative to two internal standards, are given for 79 glycosidic linkage-isomers of mannose, galactose, glucose, arabinose, xylose, rhamnose, and fucose, on four g.l.c. columns. One of these columns is a newly developed, highly polar, capillary column. Direct comparisons of these retention times to retention times of partially methylated alditol acetates are made. The ethyl analogs are eluted sooner that the corresponding methyl derivatives, and the amount of this shift in elution time is dependent upon the number of alkyl groups in the derivative. This change in elution time allows separation of many polysaccharide components by g.l.c. that are not separable as their partially methylated alditol acetates. Others, separated as their O-methyl derivatives, are coeluted as their partially ethylated alditol acetates. The two derivatives thus provide excellent complementary procedures because of their differential chromatographic separation and because of the similarity of their preparation.