Dr_Jay_wannabe

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I believe that GEOMETRY refers to the lewis structure without considering lone pair electrons. SHAPE refers to the three-dimensional structure with lone pair electrons included (all the orbitals). For example, the GEOMETRY of water is bent (because the electrons don't count for the GEOMETRY) and the SHAPE is tetrahedral (electron lone pairs are included).

Hope that helps.

Dr_Jay_Wannabe
 

mynamehere

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Apr 5, 2010
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bumping to clarify my confusion . ..

SHAPE = geometry without the effects of electrons?

in one of the kaplan questions, it asks what the SHAPE of SO2 is (providing information that it exhibits dipole-dipole interaction). the answer was BENT.. isn't this the geometry, not the shape?
 
Jun 5, 2012
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bumping to clarify my confusion . ..

SHAPE = geometry without the effects of electrons?

in one of the kaplan questions, it asks what the SHAPE of SO2 is (providing information that it exhibits dipole-dipole interaction). the answer was BENT.. isn't this the geometry, not the shape?
Yes, that's absolutely right.

Even though the geometry of the SP3 orbitals are all tetrahedral, the shape of the molecule refers to the orientation of the atoms:
CH4 - Tetrahedral
NH3 - Trigonal pyramidal
H2O - Bent

The shape of the molecule will be its geometry when it has no lone pairs.
 
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