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Secondary IV • 9mo.

How do you distinguish between metals, nonmetals and metalloids in the periodic table?


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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 • 9mo.

    Thanks for your question!

    To remind myself of how the periodic table is divided, I always remember that the elements further to the left have a more pronounced metallic character and that those further to the right have a more pronounced non-metallic character. To help you distinguish each atom, you can see them identified in the following periodic table. The red elements are the metals, the blue elements are the nonmetals and the yellow elements are the metalloids.


    However, the real division between metals and nonmetals are metalloids. To remind myself of their location, I visualize them as part of a big "70". Indeed, boron (B), carbon (C), silicon (Si), and germanium (Ge) seem to form a "7" while arsenic (As), selenium (Se), terbium (Tb ), tellurium (Te), bismuth (Bi) and polonium (Po) appear to form a "0".

    The nonmetals are therefore all the elements to the right of the right side of the "7" and the "0" of the "70" plus hydrogen (H), which is the only nonmetal to the left of the metalloids.

    All the other elements (including the two periods at the bottom) are thus metals.

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