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Formal charge has to be zero because that means that the element is at its most stable point. Electrons tend to organize themselves to be in the most stable state they can so naturally a structure with all zero formal charges will grant them this.
Formal charges don't always have to be zero, as if a molecule is an ion with a certain positive or negative charge, then at least one element in the structure must have a charge that makes all of the formal charges of the elements in the structure add up to zero. But, to find the most stable form of a molecule's structure, you do want to try to make it so that the base element in the middle has a formal charge of 0.
Samantha Chung 4I wrote:HIi! Can someone re-explain to me why the formal charge has to be zero? This is something that I keep forgetting. Thanks!
Formal charge doesn't have to be zero, but the element will be most stable when formal charge is zero , so a molecule with all zero FCs will be most stable and therefore the best formation
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