Sample Problem

The following compounds exhibit different types of bonding. Please order the compounds from strongest to weakest bonding.

1.      Nitrogen (N2)

2.      Salt (NaCl)

3.      Carbon dioxide (CO2)

4.      Water (H2O)


(A) is the correct order: 1, 3, 4, 2 or nitrogen, carbon dioxide, water, salt. Nitrogen (N2) has a triple covalent bond, carbon dioxide (CO2) has a double covalent bond, water (H2O) has a single covalent bond, and salt (NaCl) is an ionic compound. As you have learned, covalent bonds are stronger than ionic bonds, meaning salt shows the weakest type of bonding. Also, triple covalent bonds are stronger than double are stronger than single. This is a hard question, so don’t worry if it tripped you up. These concepts will get easier with practice.