How many single covalent bonds can oxygen form?

1 Answer
Feb 27, 2016

Two, corresponding to the number of available valence electrons that it has.


In general, the number and type of bonds possible with any element are determined by the valence electrons. Those are the outermost electrons, which may be shared in covalent bonds, or given up in ionic bonds.

“Missing” valence electrons are equally important, as they indicate orbitals that need to be completed through electron sharing or acquisition from another element. The “octet rule” should be applied to an element's valence electrons to see how many bonds it can form to “complete” its outer shell.