10 Differences Between valency and valence electrons

Valency vs Valence Electrons: Exploring the Differences

What is Valency?

Valency is a term used in chemistry to describe the combining power or capacity of an atom. It represents the number of electrons an atom can gain, lose, or share when forming chemical compounds. Valency determines the element’s ability to bond with other atoms and form stable molecules.

Examples of Valency:

Let’s consider a few examples to understand the concept of valency:

  • Hydrogen (H) has a valency of 1. It can form one bond by either gaining or sharing one electron.
  • Oxygen (O) has a valency of 2. It can form two bonds by gaining or sharing two electrons.
  • Carbon (C) has a valency of 4. It can form four bonds by gaining or sharing four electrons.

Uses of Valency:

Valency is essential in predicting the formation and stability of chemical compounds. It helps determine the type and number of bonds an element can form, making it crucial in understanding chemical reactions, designing molecules, and studying the properties of different compounds.

What are Valence Electrons?

Valence electrons are the outermost electrons of an atom that participate in chemical bonding. These electrons are responsible for the element’s reactivity and play a crucial role in determining its chemical properties.

Examples of Valence Electrons:

Let’s examine a few examples to comprehend valence electrons:

  • Sodium (Na) has 1 valence electron.
  • Chlorine (Cl) has 7 valence electrons.
  • Oxygen (O) has 6 valence electrons.

Uses of Valence Electrons:

Valence electrons are vital in understanding and predicting how elements interact with each other to form bonds. By analyzing the number and arrangement of valence electrons in specific atoms, scientists can determine the stability and chemical behavior of substances. This knowledge is then used in various fields, such as material science, pharmaceuticals, and environmental studies.

Differences Table: Valency vs Valence Electrons

Difference Area Valency Valence Electrons
The Concept Valency represents the combining capacity of an atom in chemical compounds. Valence electrons are the outermost electrons of an atom involved in bonding.
Definition Valency refers to the numerical value indicating the combining capacity. Valence electrons are the electrons present in the outermost shell.
Properties Valency is specific to elements and can involve gaining, losing, or sharing electrons. Valence electrons determine the reactivity and chemical properties of elements.
Location Valency is associated with the entire atom. Valence electrons are found in the outermost shell.
Counting Valency is counted using the periodic table and electron configuration. Valence electrons are determined by the group or family number of an element.
Representation Valency is denoted using positive or negative signs and numbers. Valence electrons are represented by dots or numbers.
Role Valency helps predict the bonding behavior of elements. Valence electrons participate in the formation of chemical bonds.
Change Valency can change when elements enter chemical reactions and form compounds. Valence electrons do not change during chemical reactions.
Contribution Valency contributes to the overall stability and properties of compounds. Valence electrons contribute to the stability and reactivity of elements.
Significance Valency is significant in understanding chemical bonding and compound formation. Valence electrons are significant in predicting chemical behavior and reactions.


Valency and valence electrons are fundamental concepts in chemistry. Valency relates to the combining power of atoms in compounds, while valence electrons are crucial in determining the reactivity and bonding behavior of elements. Understanding the differences between valency and valence electrons is essential in comprehending chemical reactions, predicting molecule formation, and studying the properties of various substances.

People Also Ask:

1. What is the difference between valency and valence?

Valency refers to the combining power of an atom in compounds, while valence relates to the outermost electrons involved in bonding.

2. How can valency be determined?

Valency can be determined by analyzing the electron configuration or group number of an element in the periodic table.

3. What are the uses of valence electrons?

Valence electrons are used to predict the chemical properties, reactivity, and bonding behavior of elements.

4. Does valency change during a chemical reaction?

Yes, valency can change when atoms enter chemical reactions and form compounds.

5. How do valence electrons contribute to stability?

Valence electrons play a crucial role in forming chemical bonds, which contribute to the overall stability of elements.

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