Why do you draw bent lines for skeletal structures instead of straight lines?


Thinking because you have to distinguish when a Carbon atom is there or not but why bent lines specificially?

In: 3

Those represent either a mix of stereochemistry or unknown stereochemistry.

It’s hard to explain what that is using just words and without getting too deep. I’m going to drop in this Wikipedia image and let you ask further questions if that doesn’t make sense!


Because there is an actual bond angle there. If it is perfectly tetrahedral the angle is 109.5 degrees (to a reasonable number of sig figs anyway). The angle is meant to reflect that. Obviously there will be some variation in actual bond angle due to steric effects from whatever the various substituents might be, but we use an approximation for modeling purposes.

Because the carbon to carbon bonds in a (saturated) chain are at the tetrahedral angle. If you could stretch a molecule out so that the carbons lie in one plane, the bonds would form a zigzag, not a straight line.