Question #788a2

1 Answer
Feb 28, 2014

The sulfur atom in H₂SO₃ has sp³ hybridization.

To determine the hybridization of S, you must:

a. Draw the Lewis structure for H₂SO₃.

b. Determine the steric number (SN) of the S atom.

SN = BP + LP, where
BP = number of bonding pairs and
LP = number of lone pairs.

c. Assign the hybridization that corresponds to the SN.

The Lewis structure of H₂SO₃ is

There are three bonding pairs and one lone pair on the S atom, so SN = 4.

The hybridization that corresponds to various steric numbers is

SN = 2; Hybridization = sp
SN = 3; Hybridization = sp²
SN = 4; Hybridization = sp³
SN = 5; Hybridization = sp³d
SN = 6; Hybridization = sp³d²

We see that SN = 4 corresponds to sp³ hybridization for the S atom.