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You are watching: Is water an ionic or covalent compound


very first of all, a solitary water molecule consists of an oxygen atom enclosed to 2 hydrogen atoms. Every of the hydrogen atom is bound come the oxygen atom v a covalent bond. Why the link is covalent can be explained by looking in ~ the electronegativities of every atom.


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First that all, a single water molecule consists of one oxygen atom fastened to 2 hydrogen atoms. Each of the hydrogen atom is bound come the oxygen atom v a covalent bond. Why the shortcut is covalent deserve to be defined by looking at the electronegativities of each atom.

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A covalent link is a kind of bond whereby the atoms involved share electrons in stimulate to achieve an octet (8 electrons). Oxygen has actually 6 electrons, and also by sharing electrons through 2 hydrogen atom (each sharing one electron), it attains one octet. The hydrogens only need two electrons (exception come octet). This is together opposed come an ionic shortcut such as in NaCl where among the atoms completely transfers the electron to the other. Covalency is greatest when the 2 atoms have virtually equal electronegativities. Electronegativity is the measure up of the tendency of one atom in a shortcut to attract the common electrons in the direction of itself. Hence, the atom with the better electronegativity will entice the electrons much more towards chin (this results to polar bonds). If the electronegativity in between the 2 atoms is an extremely large, the bond created is more likely to be ionic. Together a ascendancy of thumb, if the difference in electronegativity is much less than 0.4, the bond is taken into consideration non-polar; in between 0.4 and also 1.7, the shortcut is polar. Both of these room covalent bonds. Over 1.7, the bond would be thought about ionic.

In the situation of water, the electronegativity the oxygen is 3.5, while the of hydrogen is 2.1. The difference is 1.4, and hence the link is a polar covalent bond through electrons tending to it is in closer to oxygen due to the fact that it is an ext electronegative. In summary, water has a covalent bond due to the fact that of the nature that oxygen and also hydrogen -- they share electrons to obtain stability, and also their electronegativities room close sufficient for your bond to be thought about covalent.