(Polar molecules, Non-polar molecules, etc.)
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I'm pretty sure a molecule is going to be linear as long as there aren't any lone pairs on the central atom. When the molecule is linear, there aren't any lone pairs taking up space and pushing the other attached atoms away, thus bending the molecular shape. I think this only applies to chains of atoms like CN or OCl2.
The difference between a bent molecule and a linear one is that the bent molecule has lone pairs whereas the linear one doesn't. This makes sense because the lone pair on the central atom creates a charge that pushes the outside atoms away, consequently bending the molecule.
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