# CH4 Lewis structure

CH4 (methane) has one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms.

In the CH4 Lewis structure, there are four single bonds around the carbon atom, with four hydrogen atoms attached to it, and none of the atoms has a lone pair.

Contents

## Steps

To properly draw the CH4 Lewis structure, follow these steps:

#1 Draw a rough sketch of the structure
#2 Next, indicate lone pairs on the atoms
#3 Indicate formal charges on the atoms, if necessary

Let’s break down each step in more detail.

### #1 Draw a rough sketch of the structure

• First, determine the total number of valence electrons

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

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

Since CH4 has one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms, so…

Valence electrons of one carbon atom = 4 × 1 = 4
Valence electrons of four hydrogen atoms = 1 × 4 = 4

And the total valence electrons = 4 + 4 = 8

• Second, find the total electron pairs

We have a total of 8 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 = 8 ÷ 2 = 4

• 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.

Hence, here we have to assume that the central atom is carbon.

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

• And finally, draw the rough sketch

### #2 Next, indicate lone pairs on the atoms

Here, we have a total of 4 electron pairs. And four C — H bonds are already marked. So we do not have to mark any electron pair as a lone pair on the sketch.

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

Therefore, this structure is the stable Lewis structure of CH4.

Next: BF3 Lewis structure