Here’s a shortcut for figuring out the hybridization of an atom in a molecule. This will save you a lot of time.
Here’s what you do:
Look at the atom.
Count the number of atoms connected to it.
Count the number of lone pairs attached to it.
Add these two numbers together.
- If it’s 4, your atom is sp3.
- If it’s 3, your atom is sp2.
- If it’s 2, your atom is sp.
(If it’s 1, it’s probably hydrogen!)
(There’s exceptions, but you usually don’t meet them until Org 2 – if the word “aromaticity” means nothing to you as a chemistry concept, don’t worry about it for now).
Try it out here. Don’t worry if the molecule looks a little crazy: just focus on the individual atoms that the arrows point to (A, B, C, D, E). A and B especially. If you haven’t learned line diagrams yet (and “hidden” hydrogens) maybe come back to this later.
Thanks for reading! James