Main difference – Covalent bond vs coordinate Bond

A chemical bond is the attachment of two atoms through exchanging electrons. This have the right to be either v sharing electron or through finish removal of electrons. A chemical bond always has a pair of electron that have opposite spins. This electron pair is dubbed a link pair. Covalent bonds and also coordinate bonds room chemical bonds the are created as a result of share electrons between two atoms. A covalent link is formed when both atom share their electrons. But a coordination shortcut is formed when one atom donates one of its extra electron bag to an additional atom. However, after ~ the formation of the bond, both covalent bond and also the coordinate bond appears identical. The main difference between covalent and also coordinate shortcut is that both atom in a covalent bond add to the formation of link whereas just one atom in a coordination shortcut contributes to the formation of the bond.

Key locations Covered

1. What is a Covalent Bond – Definition, Formation, Examples 2. What is a coordinate Bond – Definition, Formation, Examples 3. What are the Similarities in between Covalent and also Coordinate bond – synopsis of common Features 4. What is the Difference in between Covalent and Coordinate shortcut – comparison of vital Differences

Key Terms: bond Pair, Coordination Bond, Coordination Compound, Covalent Bond, Lone Pair, Valency


What is a Covalent Bond

A covalent shortcut is a form of chemistry bond that is created when 2 atoms share their unpaired electrons through each other. A covalent bond deserve to be formed in between two atoms of the same aspect or various elements. Most often, this covalent bonds are discovered in in between nonmetals. Two atoms are an ext likely to share electrons as soon as the electronegativities that those atom are approximately similar.

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Atoms tend to share your electrons when there space unpaired electron in your outermost orbitals. Sometimes, atoms share electron to follow the octet dominion that shows stability. However, this electron sharing leader to the development of new compounds that space composed of atom in various combinations. Follow to the valency that a certain atom, the number of covalent bonds it can kind may vary.

A covalent bond can be one of two people a sigma bond or a pi bond. A sigma link is a single bond, i m sorry is written of one electron pair. A dual bond is created of one sigma bond and also one pi bond. Both bonds are covalent bonds.


Figure 1: structure of H2O Molecule

In bespeak to kind a covalent bond, both atom should contribute in equal amounts. Therefore, one electron from every atom have to participate in stimulate to kind a solitary bond. Because that the development of a dual bond, 2 electrons from every atom space donated.

A covalent bond deserve to be one of two people polar or nonpolar bond depending upon the electronegativity of each atom. If the difference of electronegativities in between two atoms is an extremely low (less 보다 0.4) or zero, it forms a nonpolar covalent bond. If the distinction in electronegativities of 2 atoms is higher (0.4-1.7), climate it is a an extremely polar covalent bond.

What is a coordinate Bond

A name: coordinates bond is a kind of chemistry bond the is formed as result of the donation that a lone electron pair through one atom to an additional atom. Here, the lone electron pair is shared by 2 atoms. This occurs in between an atom that is rich v electrons and an atom that is deficient in electrons. The electron-rich atom will certainly donate a pair of electrons to the electron deficient atom. However, ~ the formation of the coordinate bond, it looks identical to a covalent bond.

In order to kind a coordinate bond, the electron deficient types should have actually empty orbitals because that the just arrive electron pair. Because that example, in BF3 molecule, Boron (B) has actually an empty p orbital. Because the electron construction of B does not obey the octet rule, it forms a name: coordinates bond through an electron-rich types such together NH3. There, the nitrogen atom has a lone electron pair that deserve to be donated come the B atom the BF3. After the formation of this name: coordinates bond, all the bond in the entirety molecule watch similar.


Figure 2: name: coordinates Bond between NH3 and also BF3

Metals ion can type coordinate bonds through electron-rich species that are referred to as ligands. Due to the fact that metal ions room positively fee atoms, ligands can donate electron bag to the steel atom. Since most that the steel atoms have empty d orbitals, the just arrived electron pairs deserve to be integrated in those empty d orbitals. These metal-ligand complexes are called coordination complexes.

Similarities in between Covalent and Coordinate Bond

After the formation of covalent and also coordinate bonds, both species of bonds watch the same.Both varieties of bonds space composed the one electron pair per each bond.Both species of bonds cause the attachment of two atoms together.

Difference in between Covalent and also Coordinate Bond


Covalent Bond: A covalent shortcut is a kind of chemical bond the is developed when two atoms share their unpaired electrons with each other.

Coordinate Bond: A name: coordinates bond is a form of chemistry bond the is formed as result of the donation the a lone electron pair by one atom to one more atom.

Electron Donation

Covalent Bond: Two atom donate an equal variety of electrons for the link formation.

Coordinate Bond: Only one atom donates a pair of electrons because that the bond formation.

Presence that Unpaired Electrons

Covalent Bond: There should be unpaired electrons in bespeak to form a covalent bond.

Coordinate Bond: There need to be no unpaired electron in order to type a name: coordinates bond.

Presence of north Orbitals

Covalent Bond: In bespeak to kind a covalent bond, empty orbitals space not required.

Coordinate Bond: Empty orbitals have to be existing in the electron deficient types in order to form coordinate bonds.

Presence that Lone Pair

Covalent Bond: In order to kind a covalent bond, lone electron pairs room not required.

Coordinate Bond: In stimulate to kind a name: coordinates bond, at the very least one lone electron pair need to be current in among the two atoms.

Polarity the the Bond

Covalent Bond: Covalent bonds deserve to be one of two people polar or nonpolar follow to the distinction in the electronegativities of 2 atoms.

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Coordinate Bond: coordinate bonds room polar bonds.


Both covalent bond and coordinate link are varieties of chemical bonds. They are advantageous in holding atoms with each other in stimulate to type compounds. After the development of these bonds, both covalent bond and also coordinate bond show up to it is in identical. However they are not the same. Over there is a unique difference in between covalent and coordinate bond; in a covalent bond, both atoms are affiliated in the formation of link whereas, in coordination bond, just one atom is affiliated in the development of the bond. 


1. “Ionic and also Covalent Bonds.” Chemistry LibreTexts. Libretexts, 03 Mar. 2017. Web. Easily accessible here. 10 Aug. 2017. 2. “What is a datil covalent bond?” MyTutor. N.p., n.d. Web. Available here. 10 Aug. 2017. 

Image Courtesy:

“Figure 02 01 08” by CNX OpenStax – (CC by 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia“NH3-BF3-adduct-bond-lengthening-2D” by Ben Mills – Own work-related (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia