In this work, the Fourier transform infrared and Raman spectra of 2-bromonicotinic acid and 6-bromonicotinic acid (abbreviated as 2-BrNA and 6-BrNA, C6H4BrNO2) have been recorded in the region 4000–400 and 3500–50 cm−1. The optimum molecular geometry, normal mode wavenumbers, infrared intensities and Raman scattering activities, corresponding vibrational assignments and intermolecular hydrogen bonds were investigated with the help of B3LYP density functional theory (DFT) method using 6-311++G(d,p) basis set. Reliable vibrational assignments were made on the basis of total energy distribution (TED) calculated with scaled quantum mechanical (SQM) method. From the calculations, the molecules are predicted to exist predominantly as the C1 conformer. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.