From the diagrams I've seen $\ce{HNO3}$ has a dative covalent bond so why doesn't it have a positive charge?

  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean an overall positive change or a positive charge on the nitrogen atom? $\endgroup$
    – DavePhD
    Dec 14, 2014 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't a positive charge on the nitrogen cause an overall charge on the molecule? $\endgroup$
    – user58953
    Dec 14, 2014 at 17:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not necessarily, see the nitro group. $\endgroup$
    – Dissenter
    Dec 14, 2014 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


One side of the $\ce{HNO3}$ molecule does have a positive charge, but this is neutralized by the negative charge resulting from the Oxygen atom with only one bond to the nitrogen. These charges cancel leaving an overall neutral molecule.

nitric acid


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