In all cases, the bond, whether dative or "normal" electron-sharing, is a covalent bond. In common usage, the prefix dipolar, dative or coordinate merely serves to indicate the origin of the electrons used in creating the bond. For example, F3B ← O(C2H5)2 ("boron trifluoride (diethyl) etherate") is prepared from BF3 and :O(C2H5)2, as opposed to the radical species [•BF3]– and [•O(C2H5)2]+. The dative bond is also a convenience in terms of notation, as formal charges are avoided: we can write D: + ()A ⇌ D → A rather than D+–A– (here : and () represent the lone-pair and empty orbital on the electron-pair donor D and acceptor A, respectively). The notation is sometimes used even when the Lewis acid-base reaction involved is only notional (e. g. , the sulfoxide R2S → O is rarely if ever made by reacting the sulfide R2S with atomic oxygen O). Thus, most chemists do not make any claim with respect to the properties of the bond when choosing one notation over the other (formal charges vs. arrow bond).
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