The conformations of the (1----4)-linked alpha-D-galacturono-di- (1) and -tri-saccharide (2) in aqueous solutions have been analysed by n.m.r. spectroscopy and MM2CARB calculations. The 3JC.H. and n.O.e. values did not change with temperature and were comparable for 1 and 2. Four energy regions were found on the relaxed (phi, psi) map for 1 computed by the MM2CARB method. Theoretical n.O.e. values, based on the geometry and the abundance of the most populated conformer, accorded with experimental values. The magnitudes of phi H and psi H for the glycosidic bond suggest that a right-handed three-fold helical arrangement can be formed by pectic acid oligosaccharides in solution.