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Secondary IV • 2yr.


I am having difficulty distinguishing the characteristics of metals, nonmetals and metalloids. Also, where can they be found in the periodic table?

Thank you so much!


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.


    Thank you for your question 😉

    Let's start with the definitions of the three groups so that you can see their differences.

    First, metals are the elements to the left of the small staircase (the blue section), with the exception of hydrogen, in the periodic table which have at least four metallic properties: luster, electrical and thermal conductivity, reaction to acids and malleability.

    The non-metals on the other hand are to the right of the small staircase  (the red section), including hydrogen, and they have at least four non-metallic properties or they do not have the metallic properties. Non-metals therefore have a term aspect, do not conduct heat or electricity, do not react to acids and they are not malleable.

    Metalloids are located at the top and bottom of the stairs (the green section) in the periodic table and they have at least one metallic and one non-metallic property.

    I strongly recommend that you learn the ten metalloids by heart. A trick is to think of the number 70, because the boxes of boron (B), carbon (C), silicon (Si) and germanium (Ge) form a seven and the boxes of arsenic (As), selenium (Se), tellurium (Te), polonium (Po), bismuth (Bi) and antimony (Sb) form zero. So these two numbers together make up the 70.

    I am putting here the periodic table that distinguishes the three groups so that you have a better idea of ​​where the stairs are located.


    If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask them on the forums! 😊

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