Asked in
Chemical Bonding

What is the difference between a covalent ionic and hydrogen bonds?


User Avatar
Wiki User
January 20, 2008 11:58PM

Non-metals have too few electrons in their outer shell to be stable.

Metals have too many electrons in their outer shell to be stable.

Electrons are -vely charged.

Protons are +vely charged.

An ionic bond is where a metal gives up a small number of its electrons and gives them to the non-metal so that both now have a full outer shell. This makes the metal +vely chraged (because there are more protons than electrons) and the non-metal -vely charged (because there are more electrons than protons). Opposing charges attract each other, like with magnets, and the metal and non-metal are 'stuck' together. Magnesium oxide for example, Magnesium has two electrons in its outer shell and Oxygen needs two to fill its outer shell.

A covalent bond is where two non-metals 'share' a few of their outermost electrons to make their outermost shells full. Oxygen gas for example, Oxygen needs two electrons to fill its outer shell so both atoms hold onto two of the other atom's electrons (linking arms if you will), making each of their outer shells full.