Majority of the known elements are metals; only 17 elements are non-metals and eight elements are metalloids


They are electropositive elements i.e. they lose electrons to form cations. They form basic oxides.

All of them have lustre and are, malleable (i.e. can be spread out into sheets) and ductile (i.e. can be drawn into wire), are good conductors of heat and electricity.

In the periodic table, "elements of group IA, IIA and all transition elements are metals. Some of the elements of group IIIA, IVA, VA and VIA are also metals.


They are electronegative elements i.e. they gain electrons to form anions. They form acidic oxides. They are bad conductors of heat and electricity. Most of them are gases.

In the periodic table, majority of elements of p- block i.e. group IIIA, IVA, VA, VIA, VIIA and VIIIA are non-metals.


These are the elements which exhibit dual character. That is they show the properties of both metals as well as non-metals. For example, their oxides are amphoteric i.e. have basic as well as acidic nature.

Examples are:

Boron (B) of group IIIA

Silicon (Si) and Germanium (Ge) of group IVA.

Arsenic (As) and Antimony (Sb) of group VA.

Tellurium (Te) and Polonium (Po) of group VIA

Astatine (At) of group VIIA.


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