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Bond enthalpies between atoms will be positive when bonds are being broken because energy is required in order to break the bond (this is an endothermic process). However, when bonds are being formed, energy is released (exothermic process) and we account for this by including a negative in front of the bond enthalpy values.
The enthalpies of bonds always begin as positive values. The sign will only change depending on whether the bond is being broken or formed. The formula for calculating bond enthalpies is bonds broken - bonds formed because breaking bonds requires adding energy and is an endothermic process (positive delta H) and forming bonds releases energy and is therefore exothermic (negative delta H).
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