The product selectivity during 1,3-butadiene hydrogenation on monodisperse, colloidally synthesized, Pt nanoparticles was studied under reaction conditions with kinetic measurements and in situ sum frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopy. SFG was performed with the capping ligands intact in order to maintain nanoparticle size by reduced sintering. Four products are formed at 75 C: 1-butene, cis-2-butene, trans-2-butene, and n-butane. Ensembles of Pt nanoparticles with average diameters of 0.9 and 1.8 nm exhibit a ∼30% and ∼20% increase in the full hydrogenation products, respectively, as compared to Pt nanoparticles with average diameters of 4.6 and 6.7 nm. Methyl and methylene vibrational stretches of reaction intermediates observed under working conditions using SFG were used to correlate the stable reaction intermediates with the product distribution. Kinetic and SFG results correlate with previous DFT predictions for two parallel reaction pathways of 1,3-butadiene hydrogenation. Hydrogenation of 1,3-butadiene can initiate with H-addition at internal or terminal carbons leading to the formation of 1-buten-4-yl radical (metallocycle) and 2-buten-1-yl radical intermediates, respectively. Small (0.9 and 1.8 nm) nanoparticles exhibited vibrational resonances originating from both intermediates, while the large (4.6 and 6.7 nm) particles exhibited vibrational resonances originating predominately from the 2-buten-1-yl radical. This suggests each reaction pathway competes for partial and full hydrogenation and the nanoparticle size affects the kinetic preference for the two pathways. The reaction pathway through the metallocycle intermediate on the small nanoparticles is likely due to the presence of low-coordinated sites. © 2012 American Chemical Society.