Problem: Is sulfur dioxide (SO2) ionic or molecular?

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We’re being asked to classify sulfur dioxide (SO2) as either ionic or molecular

Let’s first differentiate an ionic compound and a molecular compound.


Ionic Compound

▪ composed of a positive ion called a cation connected to a negative ion called an anion.
positive ions (cations) are usually metals and negative ions (anion) are usually nonmetals

metal + nonmetal = ionic bond

▪ cations and anions can also be polyatomic ions (example: NH4+, C­H3COO-, SO42-)

Covalent or Molecular Compound


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Is sulfur dioxide (SO2) ionic or molecular?

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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 Ionic and Covalent Compounds concept. If you need more Ionic and Covalent Compounds practice, you can also practice Ionic and Covalent Compounds practice problems.