I"ve been provided some homework in chemistry and I"m no sure just how to tell if a compound or ion is an ionic, covalent or polar covalent bond. I also have to determine what kind of molecular shape a compound has and also I"m not sure exactly how to execute that.

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An example trouble on the record is carbon tetrafluoride. 


Anyhelp would certainly be appreciated.


There is a pair different ways to recognize if a link is ionic or covalent. By definition, one ionic shortcut is in between a metal and a nonmetal, and also a covalent shortcut is between 2 nonmetals. So friend usually simply look at the regular table and also determine whether your compound is make of a metal/nonmetal or is simply 2 nonmetals. The exemption is a compound made with ammonium (NH4+) because ammonium is one ion, it forms ionic compounds. If the compound begins with H, it"s an acid.

You can use identify the distinction in electronegativty. This is a value that rates exactly how attracted one electron is come a details atom. This value is often declared in a graph or ~ above the periodic table. Uncover both aspects in the bond, and find the electronegativity values. For example, Na is 0.9 and Cl is 3.0 then subtract to discover the distinction (3.0-0.9 = 2.1) making use of this method, you deserve to determine the value of each bond.


If the difference is between 0.0-0.3: The shortcut is nonpolar covalent

If the distinction is in between 0.4-1.7 (Some books say 1.9): The bond is polar covalent

If the distinction is higher than 1.7 (or over 2.0 in some books): The link is ionic.


As because that shapes, you need to very first draw a lewis dot structure (LDS) because that the molecule. Based upon the LDS, you deserve to determine the shape. If the LDS has actually 4 bordering atoms/4 solitary bonds and no lone dots top top the central atom, the shape is tetrahedral. If it has 3 solitary bonds and also one pair that lone dots, the shape is trigonal pyramidal. If it has actually 2 solitary bonds and also 2 lone period pairs, it"s bending (bent also goes because that 1 single, 1 double, and also 1 lone period pair).

If the LDS has 3 single bonds (or 2 single/1 double) and also NO lone period pairs, it"s trigonal planar. 

And if the LDS has 2 double bonds and NO lone dot pairs, or is simply 2 atoms, the shape is linear.


The definition above is fairly simplistic, however works lot of the time. However, the ionic link is no "defined" together a bond in between a metal and nonmetal. An ionic shortcut is one in which two particles, that opposite dues (positive and negative) are held together by the attraction the those two opposite charges.

For instance, sodium chloride consists of sodium ion (positively charged) and also chloride ion (negatively charged). Once these two ions approach one another, they room attracted to each other. The attraction between two particles is generally referred to as a bond, and this kind of link is dubbed an ionic bond since it is formed between ions.


To add one thing to the discussion on molecular geometries, a single, unpaired electron counts similar to a lone pair of electrons (at a very first approximation).

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Finally, you need to be careful with terminology in this section. Various teachers and also different books will use different terminology. Shape can mean two completely different things to two various teachers or textbooks.