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Why can't the hydroxyl-groups in citric acid (denticity 3)

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or in tartaric acid (denticity 2)

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contribute to the denticity, as there are doing it in aminoethylethanolamine (denticity 3)

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Why do the hydroxyl-groups can't contribute in the first two compounds?

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    $\begingroup$ Their denticity can get up to 4, maybe even higher, just not with only one cation, because of steric reasons. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Aug 12 '17 at 21:40
  • $\begingroup$ So, the molecule itself gets in the way? $\endgroup$ – G. Ünther Aug 12 '17 at 21:52
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    $\begingroup$ This sort of thing is where you need a good 3D model kit to play around. It really helps. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Aug 13 '17 at 0:01

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