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Answer to Question #43842 in Inorganic Chemistry for cc

Question #43842
Which of the following line structure, the complete structural formula, or the condensed structural formula, gives the best information about which atoms are present in the molecule and how they are bonded?
Expert's answer
The complete structural formula and the condensed structural formula give the information about which atoms are present in the molecule absolutely clearly, while in case of the line structure, where hydrogens are not shown, one must know a bit chemistry (e.g. one must know that valence of carbon equals four) to get this information.
The complete structural formula gives the full information about how the atoms are bonded in the molecule, while in case of the line structure all but C – H bonds are shown. The line structure, however, shows real space orientation of the bonds between all atoms except hydrogens, while the complete structural formula does not. The condensed structural formula gives the worst information about how the atoms are bonded in the molecule.
So, when to sum up, the complete structural formula gives the clearest information about which atoms are present in the molecule and how they are bonded, but for professional chemist the line structure is the best option.

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