By employing an amination catalyst, previously used in the direct synthesis of amines from alcohol with ammonia, n-amino-alcohols could be selectively cyclized to either the amide or the amine. By the addition of water, the amine could be produced as the major product whereas adding a sacrificial ketone as a hydrogen acceptor resulted in the amide as the major product. Without an additive a mixture of both the amine and the amide was observed. N-substituted amino-alcohols solely gave cyclic amines under these conditions. From 2-(n-alkanol) anilines the cyclic amines were produced, where the n-propanol derivative selectively formed quinoline as the major product.