# How many valence electrons does phosphorous have available for bonding to other atoms?

The electron configuration for phosphorus is $1 {s}^{2} 2 {s}^{2} 2 {p}^{6} 3 {s}^{2} 3 {p}^{3}$. The valence electrons are usually the outermost s and p electrons and in this case, there are 2 3s electrons and 3 3p electrons for a total of 5 valence electrons.