Problem: Draw the Lewis structure for H3PO4. If necessary, expand the octet on appropriate atoms to lower formal charge.

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H3PO4

H → Group 1A → 1 val. e- x 3

P → Group 5A → 5 val. e- x 1

O → Group 6A → 6 val. e- x 4


H → can only form 1 bond

O → prefers to follow octet rule → forms 2 bonds and have 2 lone pairs

P → can have expanded octet

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Problem Details

Draw the Lewis structure for H3PO4. If necessary, expand the octet on appropriate atoms to lower formal charge.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Lewis Dot Structure: Formal Charge concept. If you need more Lewis Dot Structure: Formal Charge practice, you can also practice Lewis Dot Structure: Formal Charge practice problems.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Lapeyrouse's class at UCF.