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    I've got a table of the shapes and angles of most molecules, with the steric no. and no. of lone pairs. I cannot for the life of me understand how to predict bond shapes and angles with molecules that seem to have more than one central atom (?) like at the moment I'm trying to figure out NH2OH - but I can't figure out which atom is the central atom, and even if I do figure that out I'm not sure where to go from there. if it's O, then what about the 2 H on N and N's lone pair, and if it's N, what part does the H bonded to O and O's 2 lone pairs play in the shape of the molecule?
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    (Original post by d_turner)
    I've got a table of the shapes and angles of most molecules, with the steric no. and no. of lone pairs. I cannot for the life of me understand how to predict bond shapes and angles with molecules that seem to have more than one central atom (?) like at the moment I'm trying to figure out NH2OH - but I can't figure out which atom is the central atom, and even if I do figure that out I'm not sure where to go from there. if it's O, then what about the 2 H on N and N's lone pair, and if it's N, what part does the H bonded to O and O's 2 lone pairs play in the shape of the molecule?
    The shape is a function of the lone pairs on the central atom only.

    Which atom is the central one? It's usually fairly obvious as only one atom can bond to all of the others. For example NH2OH. Only nitrogen can form more than 3 bonds. Hydrogen can only form 1 bond and oxygen usually 2 (at a push with dative coordination, 3). Nitrogen usually 3 bonds.
 
 
 
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