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Which of the following compounds can form hydrogen bonds?
a. $\ce{H2S}$
b. $\ce{CH3OCH3}$
c. $\ce{HCl}$
d. $\ce{BH3}$
e. $\ce{NH3}$

Why isn't $\ce{CH3OCH3}$ since $\ce{H}$ is bonded with $\ce{O}$ whereas $\ce{H}$ in $\ce{NH3}$ is not bonded to any oxygens?

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closed as off-topic by Jan, Todd Minehardt, ron, jerepierre, Jon Custer Mar 21 '17 at 16:15

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In dimethyl ether, $\ce {CH_3OCH_3}$, all the hydrogen atoms are bonded to carbon in methyl groups. Only the carbon atoms are bonded to oxygen.

Ammonia has no oxygen atoms. But nitrogen is electronegative enough and compact enough, so that hydrogen bonded to the nitrogen can hydrogen-bond to an adjacent ammonia molecule.

Generally the strongest hydrogen bonds form between molecules in which hydrogen is bonded to nitrogen, oxygen, or fluorine.

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  • $\begingroup$ Then what about BH3. It has 3 H like NH3. $\endgroup$ – davis Mar 21 '17 at 1:53
  • $\begingroup$ Read that last sentence. You need a compact electronegative atom to polarize the hydrogen. $\endgroup$ – Oscar Lanzi Mar 21 '17 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ I did not see the rest of the answer, thanks. $\endgroup$ – davis Mar 21 '17 at 1:55
  • $\begingroup$ In general: There is a proton and another atom with lone pairs, there is hydrogen bonding. The determining quality is here how strong it'll be. $\endgroup$ – Martin - マーチン Feb 5 '18 at 4:28
  • $\begingroup$ Whoever downvoted please check the last paragraph I edited, is that OK now? $\endgroup$ – Oscar Lanzi Feb 6 '18 at 1:14

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