• In a standard covalent bond there are a pair of electrons shared between two atoms where each atom donates one electron
  • In a dative covalent bond there is a pair of electrons shared between two atoms however donated by one atom providing both electrons
  • In a coordinate/dative covalent bond:
    • The atom that accepts the electron pair is an atom that does not have a filled outer main level of electrons (electron deficient atom)
    • Atom that is donating the electrons has a pair of electrons that not being used in a bond (lone pair)
  • They are represented by an arrow which points towards the atom that is accepting the electron pair
  • This is only to show how the bond is made


  • All co-ordinate bonds have exactly the same strength and length as ordinary covalent bonds between the same pair of atoms