Question #ab489

1 Answer
Oct 17, 2016

Answer:

Nitrogen has variable valency because it has 5 electrons in the outermost shell and can hence attract up to 3 or lose up to 5 electrons in binding to other atoms.

Explanation:

Since the outer electron shell is stable with eight electrons, the presence of 5 electrons in the outermost electron shell of Nitrogen enables it to lose up to 5 or gain up to 3 electrons, giving it variable valency.

For example, in #NH_3# it has a valency of #-3#, but in #HNO_3# it has a valency of #+5#.