What is covalency?

When an element shares electrons with other atoms of the same or different elements to acquire stable electronic configuration, it is called covalency. If an atom shares 1 electron, its covalency is equal to 1. If it can share 2 electrons, its covalency is 2. 

  • Covalency of Fluorine – Fluorine has 7 valence electrons. It can share one electron with another atom ofF to form F2 or H to complete its octet to form HF, therefore its covalency is 1.
  • Covalency of Nitrogen – Nitrogen has 5 valence electrons. It needs 3 electrons to complete its octet. It can share three valence electrons with nitrogen atom to acquire stable electronic configuration to form N2. The covalency of nitrogen is 3.

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