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Question Video: Identifying the True Statement About the VSEPR Theory Chemistry

Which of the following statements about the VSEPR theory is true? [A] It is used to determine the bond strength between the atoms of a molecule. [B] It is used to predict the molecular geometry of a molecule. [C] It is used to determine the difference in electronegativity between the atoms of a molecule. [D] It is used to predict the polarity of a molecule. [E] It is used to determine the bond length between the atoms of a molecule.

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Video Transcript

Which of the following statements about the VSEPR theory is true? (A) It is used to determine the bond strength between the atoms of a molecule. (B) It is used to predict the molecular geometry of a molecule. (C) It is used to determine the difference in electronegativity between the atoms of a molecule. (D) It is used to predict the polarity of a molecule. Or (E) it is used to determine the bond length between the atoms of a molecule.

V-S-E-P-R stands for valence shell electron pair repulsion. It is a model used to predict the structure of molecules by assuming that all electron pairs, both bonding and lone pairs, will repel each other due to their electrostatic interactions. Based on this repulsion, different molecular geometries for different molecules will occur, as electron pairs spread out in three-dimensional space in order to minimize the repulsion which exists between them. The final conformation is one that minimizes the repulsion between the electron pairs in the molecule.

By analyzing the most stable geometric configuration, based on the position and number of bonding and lone pairs, VSEPR theory is a very useful tool to predict the molecular geometry of a molecule. Therefore, the statement that is true regarding VSEPR theory is answer choice (B). It is used to predict the molecular geometry of a molecule.

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