VSEPR Theory

VSEPR Theory

  • Electron dot structures fail to reflect the three-D shape of molecules.
  • To do this we use the valence shell electron pair repulsion theory or VSEPR theory
  • VSEPR theory states that because electron pairs repel, molecular shape adjusts so the valence electron pairs are as far apart as possible.


  • For methane, which has four bonding pairs and no unshared pairs, the bonding pairs are furthest away when the angle between the central carbon and it’s attached hydrogens is 109.5, giving a tetrahedral shape.

The shapes


Trigonal planar




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