Abstract A series crystalline compounds of methyl and phosphinyl derivatives of 2-methylquinolin-8-ol ( 1a) and related 5,7-dichloro-2-methylquinolin-8-ol ( 1b) were quantitatively prepared and characterized by microanalysis, IR, UV–vis and multinuclear NMR spectroscopy. Five of them have been characterized by single crystal X-ray diffraction method. The known compounds, 8-methoxy-2-methylquinoline ( 2a) and 8-methoxyquinoline ( 2d), were synthesised by a new route. NMR solution spectra at ambient temperature, showed readily diagnostic H-1 and C-13 signals from methyl groups. The geometries of the studied compounds were optimized in singlet states using the density functional theory (DFT) method with B3LYP functional. In general, the predicted bond lengths and angles are in a good agreement with the values based on the X-ray crystal structure data. Electronic spectra were calculated by TDDFT method.