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Covalent bonds are defined as any type of bond between atoms where electrons are shared. Therefore, almost all bonds have covalent character because certain elements will attract electrons from other elements depending on their electron affinities. For example, an atom with a high electron affinity, like Na, will attract some electrons from Cl, an atom with a lower electron affinity.
A covalent bond is when two atoms share electrons to achieve a noble gas electron configuration, because that is the most stable state for molecules. Typically in covalent bonds, one shared electron comes from one atom and the second shared electron comes from the other atom. Meanwhile, a coordinate covalent bond is when the two electrons that the atoms share both originate from the same atom. An example of a coordinate covalent bond is when a hydrogen ion bonds with an ammonia molecule (NH3). There is an pair of electrons on the nitrogen atom in ammonia, and the hydrogen ion has no electrons, so the covalent bond results in both electrons coming from ammonia. Therefore, this is a coordinate covalent bond between the nitrogen in ammonia and the hydrogen ion.
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