# What is the formal charge of N in HNO_3?

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#### Explanation

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#### Explanation:

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anor277 Share
Jun 26, 2017

$\text{Nitrogen has a formal +1 charge.}$

#### Explanation:

A reasonable Lewis structure is $H - O - \stackrel{+}{N} \left(= O\right) {O}^{-}$. One of the oxygen atoms has a formal negative charge, and the nitrogen atom is quaternized and bears a formal positive charge. Of course, the molecule is neutral, and the Lewis structure reflects this.

Note that when nitric acid dissociates:

$H N {O}_{3} \left(a q\right) + {H}_{2} O \left(l\right) \rightarrow {H}_{3} {O}^{+} + N {O}_{3}^{-}$

There are 3 formal charges on the nitrate ion: ""^(-)O-stackrel(+)N(=O)-O^-. The overall charge on the ion is still $- 1$, but there is again formal charge separation in our representation of the anion.

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