Page 1 of 1

Calculating formal charge

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:22 pm
by Nikita Patra 3J
Why is that when we count the total number of valence electrons, we count the two electrons in the covalent bond as if either atom has both of them when we consider the octet rule, but when we calculate formal charge, we only count one of the two electrons in the covalent bond?

Re: Calculating formal charge

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:36 pm
by nehashetty_2G
I think that when calculating formal charge, the concept is not to look at how many electrons an atom has, rather it is to look at the number of SHARED bonds that an atom is involved in.

Re: Calculating formal charge

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:13 pm
by Abigail_Hagen2G
Valence electrons just show how many bonds can be formed, while formal charge shows the bonds.

Re: Calculating formal charge

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:32 pm
by Daniel Yu 1E
When calculating formal charge, you would count each e- in lone pairs as individual e- but shared e- as a whole because their charge is not solely distributed to one atom.

Re: Calculating formal charge

Posted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:49 am
by Cindy Adiwidjaja 1B
Another way to think of it is to envision the electrons in the whole lewis structure, not in a singular atom. By looking it at a bigger picture, it will help.