# How many covalent bonds does nitrogen form in electrically neutral compounds?

Nitrogen typically forms 3 covalent bonds, including in ${N}_{2}$. This is because it has atomic number 7, so its electron configuration is $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{3}$, giving it 5 valence shell electrons. To form a full outer shell of 8, it needs to share 3 electrons, forming 3 covalent bonds.