How do we determine the covalency of various molecules?
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A better term than
Draw the Lewis structure and count the number of shared electron pairs.
Covalency is the number of bonds an atom forms within a molecule.
To determine the covalency, you draw the Lewis structure of the molecule and count the number of shared electron pairs.
Here are some examples.
Covalency = 1
Hydrogen and chlorine can each form one bond. can form one bond.
Covalency = 2
Oxygen atoms can form two bonds.
Covalency = 3
A nitrogen atom can form three bonds.
Covalency = 4
A carbon atom can form 4 bonds.
Many atoms with atomic number greater than 14 can form 5 or 6 bonds.