The following procedure can be offered to construct Lewis electron frameworks for more complicated molecules and also ions:

How-to: creating Lewis electron structures

1. Recognize the total number of valence electrons in the molecule or ion.

You are watching: Hydrogen has how many valence electrons

include together the valence electron from every atom. (Recall that the variety of valence electron is suggested by the place of the aspect in the routine table.) If the varieties is a polyatomic ion, mental to add or subtract the variety of electrons important to offer the full charge on the ion.

For CO32−, for example, we include two electron to the total due to the fact that of the −2 charge.

2. Arrange the atoms to show details connections.

when there is a main atom, it is usually the the very least electronegative facet in the compound. Ubraintv-jp.comists usually list this central atom an initial in the ubraintv-jp.comical formula (as in CCl4 and CO32−, i beg your pardon both have C together the central atom), i m sorry is another clue come the compound’s structure. Hydrogen and the halogens are virtually always associated to just one various other atom, therefore they room usually terminal quite than central.

3. Location a bonding pair that electrons between each pair of nearby atoms to provide a single bond.

In H2O, for example, over there is a bonding pair of electrons between oxygen and each hydrogen.

4. Beginning through the terminal atoms, add enough electrons to each atom to give each atom an octet (two for hydrogen).

this electrons will typically be lone pairs.

5. If any kind of electrons space left over, place them ~ above the main atom.

us will define later that some atoms room able come accommodate much more than eight electrons.

6. If the central atom has fewer electrons than an octet, usage lone pairs from terminal atom to kind multiple (double or triple) bonds to the central atom to accomplish an octet.

This will not readjust the variety of electrons top top the terminal atoms.

7. Final check

always make certain all valence electrons room accounted for and also each atom has actually an octet the electrons except for hydrogen (with 2 electrons).

The main atom is usually the the very least electronegative facet in the molecule or ion; hydrogen and the halogens space usually terminal.

Now let’s apply this procedure to some specific compounds, start with one us have currently discussed.

Example \(\PageIndex1\): Water

Write the Lewis framework for H2O.


Steps for writing Lewis Structures

example \(\PageIndex1\)
1. Identify the total number of valence electrons in the molecule or ion.

Each H atom (group 1) has actually 1 valence electron, and the O atom (group 16) has 6 valence electrons, because that a full of 8 valence electrons.

2. Kinds the atom to show particular connections.


Because H atoms are almost always terminal, the plan within the molecule should be HOH.

3. Ar a bonding pair the electrons in between each pair of surrounding atoms to give a single bond.

4. Beginning with the terminal atoms, include enough electrons to each atom to give each atom one octet (two for hydrogen).

Placing one bonding pair of electrons in between the O atom and also each H atom gives

H -O- H

with 4 electrons left over.

Each H atom has a full valence covering of 2 electrons.

5. If any electrons room left over, place them top top the central atom.

Adding the continuing to be 4 electron to the oxygen (as two lone pairs) provides the adhering to structure:

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because carbon is much less electronegative 보다 oxygen and hydrogen is generally terminal, C must be the central atom.

3. Place a bonding pair the electrons between each pair of nearby atoms to provide a single bond.

Placing a bonding pair that electrons in between each pair of bonded atoms provides the following:


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7. Last check

Both the oxygen and also the carbon now have an octet of electrons, for this reason this is an agree Lewis electron structure. The O has two bonding pairs and also two lone pairs, and also C has four bonding pairs. This is the framework of formaldehyde, which is provided in embalming fluid.

Exercise \(\PageIndex1\)

Write Lewis electron structures for CO2 and SCl2, a vile-smelling, unstable red liquid the is used in the produce of rubber.

Answer CO2




Answer SCl2




Writing Lewis frameworks for Polyatomic Ions

Recall the a polyatomic ion is a team of atom that are covalently bonded together and also which lug an overall electrical charge. The ammonium ion, \(\ceNH_4^+\), is developed when a hydrogen ion \(\left( \ceH^+ \right)\) attaches come the lone pair of an ammonia \(\left( \ceNH_3 \right)\) molecule in a coordinate covalent bond.


Exceptions to the Octet Rule

As important and also useful as the octet preeminence is in ubraintv-jp.comical bonding, there space some renowned violations. This go not average that the octet dominion is useless—quite the contrary. Similar to many rules, there room exceptions, or violations.

See more: Describe When Bob Ewell Attacks Scout And Jem ? To Kill A Mockingbird Chapters 28

There space three violations come the octet rule. Odd-electron molecules represent the first violation come the octet rule. Return they room few, some secure compounds have actually an odd number of electrons in your valence shells. V an odd variety of electrons, at least one atom in the molecule will need to violate the octet rule. Instances of stable odd-electron molecules room NO, NO2, and ClO2. The Lewis electron period diagram because that NO is together follows:


Although the O atom has actually an octet the electrons, the N atom has actually only seven electrons in that valence shell. Back NO is a stable compound, the is very ubraintv-jp.comically reactive, together are most other odd-electron compounds.

Electron-deficient molecules represent the second violation come the octet rule. These steady compounds have less than eight electrons approximately an atom in the molecule. The most usual examples space the covalent compounds of beryllium and boron. Because that example, beryllium can form two covalent bonds, resulting in only four electrons in that valence shell:

hydrogen has how many valence electrons