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For the ligand to be polydentate it needs to have more than one atom that is is highly electronegative and they need to be far enough apart that the molecule can bind in two places. For example cyanide CN- is only monodentate despite the negative charge on the carbon and lone pair on the nitrogen because the triple bond is short and cannot accommodate both the carbon and nitrogen binding to the central metal atom. However ethylenediamine is a much longer molecule and also has two areas of high electronegativity so it is able to bind at two spots on the central metal atom.
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