# What are the oxidation states of carbon in cyanide and isocyanide?

Aug 3, 2017

It is the same

#### Explanation:

The oxidation state of carbon in $H C N$ $H N C$ is the same i.e +4

Aug 3, 2017

In $\text{H"-"C"-="N}$, we have oxidation states corresponding to

$\stackrel{\textcolor{b l u e}{+ 1}}{{\text{H}}^{+}}$

and

${\left[: \stackrel{\textcolor{b l u e}{+ 2}}{\text{C")-=stackrel(color(blue)(-3))("N}} :\right]}^{-}$.

In $\text{H"-"N"-="C}$, we have oxidation states corresponding to

$\stackrel{\textcolor{b l u e}{+ 1}}{{\text{H}}^{+}}$

and

${\left[: \stackrel{\textcolor{b l u e}{- 3}}{\text{N")-=stackrel(color(blue)(+2))("C}} :\right]}^{-}$.

Either way, we assume full electron transfer to the more electronegative atom, and thus bonding direction doesn't matter.