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Ionic compounds are formed from the combination of a metal and a non-metal, in which the metal is written first in the molecular formula. Covalent compounds are those which consists of covalent bonds, which only result between two non-metals. Another tip in distinguishing between them is through their Lewis structures: ionic compounds are written by denoting the cation and anion separately (the metal and non-metals with their respective charges and brackets around the element with the negative charge), while covalent compounds are written with a shared pair of electrons in between.
To add on, comparing the electronegativity between atoms is the general way to tell if what type of bonds the molecule will form. Typically a greater difference in electronegativity would mean an ionic bond will form. A small difference, for example around 0.5, would result in non-polar covalent bond. Any difference in between would typically form polar covalent bonds.
Julia Mazzucato 4D wrote:We will also be able to look at formal charges within the molecule to determine polarity of a covalent bond.
How would we be able to determine the polarity of a covalent bond using formal charges?
Covalent bonds form between non-metal atoms as they are more similar in electronegativity, while ionic bonds form between non-metals and metals as they have extremely different levels of electronegativity.
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