# CH3O- Lewis structure

CH3O (methoxide) has one carbon atom, three hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom.

In CH3O Lewis structure, there are four single bonds around the carbon atom, with three hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom attached to it, and on the oxygen atom, there are three lone pairs.

Also, there is a negative (-1) charge on the oxygen atom.

Contents

## Steps

Here’s how you can easily draw the CH3O Lewis structure step by step:

#1 Draw a rough skeleton structure
#2 Mention lone pairs on the atoms
#3 If needed, mention formal charges on the atoms

Now, let’s take a closer look at each step mentioned above.

### #1 Draw a rough skeleton structure

• First, determine the total number of valence electrons

In the periodic table, carbon lies in group 14, hydrogen lies in group 1, and oxygen lies in group 16.

Hence, carbon has four valence electrons, hydrogen has one valence electron, and oxygen has six valence electrons.

Since CH3O has one carbon atom, three hydrogen atoms, and one oxygen atom, so…

Valence electrons of one carbon atom = 4 × 1 = 4
Valence electrons of three hydrogen atoms = 1 × 3 = 3
Valence electrons of one oxygen atom = 6 × 1 = 6

Now the CH3O has a negative (-1) charge, so we have to add one more electron.

So the total valence electrons = 4 + 3 + 6 + 1 = 14

• Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 14 valence electrons. And when we divide this value by two, we get the value of total electron pairs.

Total electron pairs = total valence electrons ÷ 2

So the total electron pairs = 14 ÷ 2 = 7

• Third, determine the central atom

Here hydrogen can not be the central atom. Because the central atom is bonded with at least two other atoms, and hydrogen has only one electron in its last shell, so it can not make more than one bond.

Now we have to choose the central atom from carbon and oxygen. Place the least electronegative atom at the center.

Since carbon is less electronegative than oxygen, assume that the central atom is carbon.

Therefore, place carbon in the center and hydrogen and oxygen on either side.

• And finally, draw the rough sketch

### #2 Mention lone pairs on the atoms

Here, we have a total of 7 electron pairs. And four bonds are already marked. So we have to only mark the remaining three electron pairs as lone pairs on the sketch.

Also remember that hydrogen is a period 1 element, so it can not keep more than 2 electrons in its last shell. And both (carbon and oxygen) are the period 2 elements, so they can not keep more than 8 electrons in their last shell.

Always start to mark the lone pairs from outside atoms. Here, the outside atoms are hydrogens and oxygen. But no need to mark on hydrogen, because each hydrogen has already two electrons.

So for oxygen, there are three lone pairs, and for carbon, there is zero lone pair because all three electron pairs are over.

Mark the lone pairs on the sketch as follows:

### #3 If needed, mention formal charges on the atoms

Use the following formula to calculate the formal charges on atoms:

Formal charge = valence electrons – nonbonding electrons – ½ bonding electrons

For carbon atom, formal charge = 4 – 0 – ½ (8) = 0

For each hydrogen atom, formal charge = 1 – 0 – ½ (2) = 0

For oxygen atom, formal charge = 6 – 6 – ½ (2) = -1

Here, the oxygen atom has a charge, so mark it on the sketch as follows:

In the above structure, you can see that the central atom (carbon) forms an octet. The outside atom (oxygen) also forms an octet, and all hydrogens form a duet. Hence, the octet rule and duet rule are satisfied.

Now there is still a negative (-1) charge on the oxygen atom.

This is okay, because the structure with a negative charge on the most electronegative atom is the best Lewis structure. And in this case, the most electronegative element is oxygen.

Also, the above structure is more stable than the previous structures. Therefore, this structure is the most stable Lewis structure of CH3O.

And since the CH3O has a negative (-1) charge, mention that charge on the Lewis structure by drawing brackets as follows:

Next: SCl6 Lewis structure